Baked Sunday Mornings: Lemon and Black Pepper Quiche

I'm a big fan of quiche. After all, what's not to love about eggs and cheese on a buttery crust? But I was a little apprehensive about this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, Lemon and Black Pepper Quiche. I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the flavor combination of lemon, black pepper, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Plus, while I love savory tarts and generally don't have any problems making them, this recipe uses the same dreaded Baked "classic pie dough" crust that has been an undercooked failure every single time I've used it (see, e.g., lemon shaker pie, sawdust pie, peaches and dream pie, buttermilk pie, blackberry pie).

I made the classic pie dough (flour, sugar, salt, cold butter, and ice water mixed together in the food processor), chilled it, and then rolled it out to fit a 9-inch pie tart pan. After freezing the crust for an hour, I blind baked it. I was gratified to see the beautifully golden parbaked crust, feeling confident that for once my classic pie dough wasn't going to be undercooked.
You sprinkle Parmesan and shredded mozzarella cheese onto the cooled crust, and then pour over a mixture of eggs, egg yolks, half and half, crème fraîche, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, white pepper, and black pepper.  The recipe notes that you may have some filling left over; I had a cup and a half of filling leftover, which was fairly annoying, because it seemed like a waste of good ingredients. After another sprinkling of black pepper and a lemon slice garnish, you bake the quiche until it's set.
The quiche was golden brown and beautiful when it came out of the oven. After letting it cool slightly, I cut into it and tried a bite. It was weird. The first flavor you get is overwhelming lemon -- so much so it's almost like biting into a lemon bar. But then as you keep chewing, it gets confusing. Is this a lemon bar with pepper and cheese? I don't have any criticisms about the texture of the cooked filling or the texture or flavor of the crust, but I could not get over the pungent lemon. I love lemon, especially in desserts -- but here it just seemed out of place. The quiche wasn't unpleasant, just inharmonious.

Recipe: "Lemon and Black Pepper Quiche," from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Unknown said…
I totally agree!!! Confusing and weird! I almost felt like I was eating lemon curd with pepper in it. I think more eggs are needed, and definitely less lemon. Big disappointment.
Anonymous said…
Bummer! Looks like Sheri and I were the only ones who DID like it. I wonder if I happened to use a small lemon or something? Anyway, your crust looks gorgeous, so I say focus on the small victories!! :)