January 15, 2012

Today's Brunch: Ugly Donuts + Pretty Quiche

My winning streak with dough ended today with some really ugly donuts.

I’ve made donuts before to great success, remember? Well, I used a different recipe today to make some Vanilla Custard Filled Donuts. And I’ll say it again. I made some really ugly donuts.

I suspected last night when the dough was incredibly sticky that trouble might be in sight. But I decided to have a little faith in the recipe (plus it was 9 pm and I was losing steam fast). This morning I thought I was in the clear. With the help of a well-floured surface, I was able to roll the dough out and stamp out my circles and o’s. The circles and o’s rose nicely. They were quite nice until I tried to pick them up off the baking sheet and place them in the frying oil. At that point, the second I touched them, they shrank back into shriveled messes, only to be more malformed when I actually picked them up. See? I’m not lying.

The only saving grace was that they tasted good (or at least that is what hubs and my kind friends told me). And I have to admit, rolling some in sugar and dipping others in chocolate helped them out a bit. Just a bit. The whole experience made me start pondering how an ugly donut shop would do in Minneapolis. I would eat an ugly donut. And I did. 2 actually.

But anyway.

I also made this quiche, and luckily it treated me better than my donut dough. This has become one of my favorite things to make for brunch. It’s delicious, it’s easy, and it seems to be a crowd-pleaser.

It’s a Leek, Asparagus, and Corn Tart. It starts with leeks and corn sautéed in butter (yum). It has some nice snappy asparagus in it. It gets sprinkled with Gruyere not once, but twice. And over it goes a silky custard made of eggs, egg yolks, cream, nutmeg, and lots and lots of freshly chopped chives.

Mmm. I’m wanting a piece as I type.

Leek, Asparagus, and Corn Tart
Adapted slightly from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook by John Barricelli

1 refrigerated pie crust
½ bunch asparagus, top third one, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 leeks (dark green parts and root ends discarded), sliced in half lengthwise, cut into ½ inch slices, and cleaned
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
1/3 cup chopped chives
Grated nutmeg
2/3 cup grated Gruyere

Cook asparagus in small pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from water and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

Heat butter and olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add leeks; season with salt and pepper; sauté covered for 10 minutes. Add corn; sauté for another 3 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425. Place pie crust in glass pie dish.

Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, milk, cream, chives, nutmeg, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Sprinkle half of the Gruyere over pie crust. Spread leek mixture across pie crust in an even layer. Add asparagus. Pour egg mixture over the filling. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyere.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until crust and top are golden brown and custard is set.

Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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