The perfect quiche for spring! This recipe enlists help from par-baking, egg wash, and a protective cheese layer to ensure a crisp bottom crust! If you want to, you can reserve some of the asparagus and make an arrangement on top of the other filling—the arrangement should be visible on the surface of the quiche after baking! —Erin McDowell
Preheat the oven to 425° F, preferably with a pizza stone on the bottom rack. Ready a 9-inch pie plate about 2 1/2 - 3 inches deep (if your pie plate isn't this deep, you can reduce the custard by 1/3-1/2).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer it to a pie plate, and trim the edge so there is only 1/2 inch overhang all around. Chill the dough inside the pie plate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Fold the excess dough under at the edges, pressing gently to “seal” the dough to the pie plate. Finish the edges as desired. Poke the base of the crust a few times with a fork. Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.
Line the crust with parchment paper and pie weights, then bake (on the pizza stone, if using) until the crust is just beginning to turn golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and continue baking until the base of the crust appears dry, 2 to 3 minutes more. If the crusts puffs up anywhere without the pie weights, pierce the area with a fork to deflate.
Brush the base of the crust with egg wash and return to the oven for 30 seconds-1 minute. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of Pecorino over the base of the crust and return to the oven once more for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° F.
Arrange the asparagus and leeks in an even layer in the crust. Dollop the ricotta evenly around the pie in tablespoon-sized scoops.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and half and half together to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard over the filling. Sprinkle the remaining pecorino over the surface of the custard.
Transfer the quiche to the oven (on the pizza stone, if using). Bake until the crust is golden brown, and the custard appears set at the edges, but is still slightly jiggly in the center, 27 to 33 minutes. Serve the quiche warm, at room temperature, or chilled (let it cool to room temperature before chilling).
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.