I love the idea of a late winter tart celebrating the root vegetables of the colder months while still having a hint of spring. So to really celebrate the transition of the seasons, I combined the fresh flavors of dill, heirloom carrots, and of course, creme fraiche (my low sodium "cheese" substitute), in order to create a bright breakfast/brunch treat that can ward off the chill or welcome the sun. There are (seemingly) a lot of steps to this recipe, but the dough can easily be prepared on another day. After that, the rest is quite simple and the resulting taste and color is totally worth it. —Sodium Girl
To prep for the quiche crust, cut the butter into cubes and put it in the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes.
Put 1 1/4 cup of flour, chilled butter, onion powder, garlic, and sugar into a food processor and pulse until combined - flour will begin to look grainier and crumby. Then, add 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time, pulsing until the dough begins to form a ball. Remove the dough and wrap in wax paper and put it into the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can use saran wrap here, but wax paper will help in a following step.
While dough is chilling, prepare the other ingredients of the tart. Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots until they have softened and let off a sweet aroma, 5 minutes. They are ready when you can't keep your hands off of them. Take off heat and set aside.
Use a hand grater or food processor to grate your carrots. The finer the grate, the better, but any size will do.
Place the carrots and shallots into a paper towel, clean dish towel, or cheesecloth and over a sink or bowl, squeeze all the extra water out (as if you are straining homemade cheese). Give it a few big squeezes and then take the carrots and shallots out, and set aside.
By now, it should be time to remove the dough. Let your dough sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes and preheat your oven to 350 dg F.
Right on top wax paper that you used, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle that is 1/8 inch thick. To transfer the dough, simply put your well-greased, 9-inch pie dish upside down over the center of the dough, leaving about 1-2 inch overhang on every side. Gently, with one hand on the pie plate and one under the wax paper, turn the whole thing right side up and then use your hands to press the dough into place. Take off wax paper and fold the over hanging dough under itself, using the tips of your fingers to press the edges into the pie plate, making those decorative indents that I personally always admire.
Use a fork to make a few prong marks on the bottom of the dough. Put the wax paper back onto the dough and fill the bottom with dried beans or peas or whatever you have to act as an oven-safe weight. Place into oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take out and remove the wax paper/weight combo and bake for another 15 minutes, until the crust begins to turn a golden hue. Take out and cool.
While the crust rests, prepare your filling. Place 1 egg and the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour in a mixing bowl and mix at high speed. Add the other 4 eggs until well combined.
In another bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche with half-and-half until smooth. Slowly pour in the egg mixture, whisking in 1/3 at a time. When well combined, add the black pepper, dried dill, dried mustard, and fresh dill. Stir until blended.
Put the shallot, carrot mixture onto the buttom of your crust and pour in the egg, crème fraiche mixture until it reaches just [1/4] inch below the edge of the crust. Place into oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the quiche has set. Serve with a mimosa. Enjoy.
In January of 2004, I received a diagnosis that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that in my case attacked my kidneys and brain. Due to the intensity of the initial “flare up” of the disease, I became renal insufficient and eventually faced kidney failure. Amazingly, through great medicine, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support, I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I no longer depend on dialysis and by regulating my diet, I depend on fewer medications. Five years later, I work part time and live a full and utterly enjoyable life. My dietary restrictions have transformed into a real passion for food and I hope to be able to pass along my favorite finds to others facing similar dietary challenges. Be creative, be friendly, and be full!