Tag: taleggio

Berlin & 365’s Autumn Quiche with Squash, Taleggio & Sage

My editor at Prestel in New York asked me one day where I’d like to launch my new book. Berlin, I said, and Malta, of course, and London, and NYC, and the West coast this time, LA and San Francisco. It’s nice to dream and imagine all these places on both sides of the Atlantic, to think of all the people I’d meet and who’d celebrate 365 together with me. I’m good at dreaming but I’m bad at not following a dream. It makes me restless, once my mind is set on something it doesn’t want to stop until it gets there. Sometimes my dreams don’t work out, sometimes they do – even though everybody around me has given up hope. And sometimes they happen to be even better than I hoped they’d be.

There are many ways to launch a book, but I wanted a feast – in six cities. There are many reasons why a dream works out, luck (always), persistence (tiring for everyone around), thoughtful planning (I studied architecture, I’m good at that), and help and support from others (and I got a lot of that). In the next couple months I’ll share some impressions of the six 365 book launch events here on the blog, I’ll write about the places and what I love so much about them, and about the people who made all this possible. And to give you a little taste of this book tour, I’ll always share one of the recipes that we enjoyed at the events. So I’ll start with Berlin, my home, the place where my adventurous journey began, and with the recipe for the Squash and Taleggio Quiche with Crispy Sage (you can find it in the book, recipe no. 287, and below). This quiche became the cover of 365 and quickly gained fans and fame all around the globe.

On the morning of September 23rd I started to feel nervous, it was the publication day of the German 365 and the day on which I’d step out of my comfort zone and talk about the book that I’d been working on for so many days and nights. It feels good when a book is out, you can’t change anything anymore and at one point you even stop dreaming about gram-to-cup conversions but it’s also the time when people start seeing what you’ve created, when it’s not just you and the book anymore. It’s scary.

So I kept myself busy during the day (the best strategy to calm my antsy mind), I went to the hair dresser (thank you Jay for dealing with my anxious self) and then drove straight to the Hotel de Rome, a former bank turned into the hotel of your dreams where 365 would soon see the most marvelous of celebrations. Türkan Arikan, the hotel’s Director of Communications and the best event partner an author could ask for, had reserved the stunning roof terrace for our launch – my favourite spot for a summery sundowner – but Berlin’s weather was set on drizzle, wind, and grey, no blue skies and golden sunset. We took over Hotel de Rome‘s imposing Opera Court with our 100 guests instead, nibbled on hearty tastings from 365 prepared by the diligent kitchen crew, and on the bittersweet recipe no. 70 from 365, Tangerine Jam Chocolate Brownies baked by Fine Bagels‘ fabulous Laurel Kratochvila. A fair feast needs wine and we happily filled our glasses with the wonderful reds, whites, and rosé from Meridiana Wine Estate in Malta (thank you Karl Chetcuti for making Maltese wine that fills my heart and every room on the book tour with so much joy). Florian Domberger baked and shared Berlin’s best bread with us, his crunchy, spongy Beutebrot. And I had a very honest, intimate talk about the book with my friend Cynthia Barcomi. This woman manages to fit more into one life than anyone else and her laugh is so charming and infectious that you totally forget that you’re nervous and that you’re talking about something that existed, not too long ago, only in your head before it became a book. Could I ask for more? No, it was a feast.

Thank YOU so much for all the love and support that you’ve already shown for 365! If you have a few minutes and you’re in the mood, it would be great if you could write a review for the book on Amazon (here are the links for the US, UK, Germany).

You can see all the pictures of the Berlin book launch event here on Facebook. And if you cook or bake recipes from the book and share pictures on Instagram, you can add #365TheCookbook so that they show up in the book’s collection. If you feel like diving into the love that this book received so far, you can read about it here.

Squash and Taleggio Quiche with Crispy Sage
from ‘365 – A Year of Everyday Cooking & Baking’ (Prestel, 2019)

Serves 4 to 8

For the filling

1 1/3 pounds (600 g) seeded squash, preferably peeled butternut or Hokkaido with skin, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Finely ground pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (175 g) sour cream (or crème fraîche)
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tsp fine sea salt
Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
5 ounces (140 g) mild, sweet cheese that melts well, such as Taleggio, fontina, or Robiola, diced
3 tbsp (45 g) unsalted butter
50 large fresh sage leaves

For the pastry

2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (130 g) unsalted butter, cold
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

For the filling, spread the squash in a large baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss to combine. Season to taste with flaky sea salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes then flip the squash and continue roasting for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and tender; set aside.

For the pastry, combine the flour and fine sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the butter and use a knife to cut it into the flour until there are just small pieces left. Quickly rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until combined. Add the egg and mix with the hook until crumbly. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze for 10 minutes.

On a work surface, place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll out into a disc, large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 12-inch (30 cm) quiche dish. Fit the dough into the quiche dish, pushing it into the dish, especially along the edges. Let the dough hang over the rim a little or trim with a knife. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. If the dough bubbles up, push it down with a fork. Take the quiche dish out of the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, heavy cream, and fine sea salt and season to taste with pepper and a generous amount of nutmeg.

Arrange the squash in a circle on top of the pre-baked pastry and sprinkle with the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the squash and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Take the quiche out of the oven and let it sit at least 10 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat, add the sage, and cook, stirring gently, for 20 to 30 seconds or until golden, green, and crispy—mind that the leaves don’t burn. Spread the sage on top of the quiche, sprinkle with a little pepper, and serve warm or cold.

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

A quiche was one of the first savoury recipes that I made on my own and actually enjoyed. Learning to cook takes time but once you succeed, you get hooked on it. Whenever friends and family asked me to chip in with a dish for a birthday party, I used to make my quiche and felt more than happy about the applause I got for it. In the beginning, I used a more basic filling of leeks, tomatoes, and thyme, but then I got experimental: be it my Italian fennel tart, the combination of artichokes, olives, and Gruyère, spinach and gorgonzola, or green beans and ramps – I love them all. There are boundless possibilities to follow the seasons and your mood. However, its greatest quality is the buttery, flaky, utterly tempting pastry base. It’s light and crisp and tastes so good that it wouldn’t even need any topping.

One of the best ways to enjoy a quiche, is at a picnic on a lazy summer’s day, but the warmer season is still far away, so I choose a filling that fits the cold and moody weather of March and goes well for a Sunday brunch with friends. I go for pumpkin, Taleggio, and crispy sage leaves fried in butter. It’s pure comfort food. Usually, I like my quiche recipes warm or cold, I have no preference, but this recipe here is best when it’s still warm. The soft cheese spreads its aroma and sinks into the sweet squash and woody-earthy sage. It’s happy-making food.

I developed this quiche recipe for the West Elm blog, where you can also find this recipe and the long (!) wooden chopping board, the linen napkin, and stoneware plates. This post was sponsored by West Elm to make my kitchen a little prettier!

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

Pumpkin Taleggio Quiche with Crisp Sage

Makes a 30cm / 12″ quiche.

For the filling

seeded pumpkin, peeled butternut squash or Hokkaido with skin, 600g / 1 1/3 pounds
olive oil 1 tablespoon
flaky sea salt
ground pepper
organic eggs 3
heavy cream 125ml / 1/2 cup
sour cream 175g / 3/4 cup
fine sea salt 1 teaspoon
nutmeg, preferably freshly grated, a generous amount
Taleggio (or another aromatic semi-soft cheese), diced, 150g / 5 ounces
butter 3 tablespoons
large fresh sage leaves 50
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar

For the pastry

plain flour 260g / 2 cups
salt 1 teaspoon
butter, cold 130g / 4 1/2 ounces
organic egg 1

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F (conventional setting). Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.

Cut the pumpkin into 5cm / 2″ wedges and place them in the lined baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, use your hands to toss and coat the squash in the oil. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Turn the squash wedges over and continue roasting for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and soft when pricked with a fork. Cut the wedges in half lengthwise and set aside.

For the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use a knife to cut it into the flour until there are just small pieces left. Quickly rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until combined. Add the egg and mix with the dough hooks of an electric mixer until crumbly. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze for 12 minutes.

Place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll out into a disc, large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 30 cm / 12″ quiche dish. Fit the dough into the quiche dish, pushing it into the dish, especially along the edges. Let the dough hang over the rim a little or cut it off with a knife. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. If the dough bubbles up, push it down with a fork.

Take the baking dish out of the oven and set the temperature down to 180°C / 350°F.

For the filling, whisk the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Arrange the pumpkin in a circle on top of the pre-baked pastry and sprinkle with the taleggio. Pour the egg-cream mixture over the squash and bake for about 55 minutes or until golden brown, the top should be firm.

While the quiche is in the oven, cook the sage: Lay a kitchen paper on a large plate. Heat the butter in a large, heavy pan on medium-high heat. When the butter is sizzling, spread the sage in the pan and roast for about 20 seconds or until golden, turning the leaves gently once or twice. Mind that they don’t become dark. Take the pan off the heat and immediately transfer the sage leaves to the plate lined with kitchen paper.

When the quiche is done, let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then cover with the sage leaves and sprinkle with crushed pepper, serve warm.

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

Pumpkin Quiche with Taleggio and Crisp Sage

 

pumpkintaleggiosagequiche14

 

pumpkintaleggiosagequiche13

Tarte Flambée – Alsatian Flammkuchen with Taleggio, Apples and Bacon

Flammkuchen

When I lived close to the French border a few years ago I loved to drive over to France on a Sunday morning for a short day trip to the Alsace region, especially at this time of the year! The vineyards were all red and golden and the first young wines were ready to be enjoyed. I mentioned these trips about a month ago when I wrote about my Zwiebelkuchen which I used to eat at the traditional restaurants in the small villages. Another Alsatian classic to accompany the new harvest is the Flammkuchen (Flammkueche in the Alsatian dialect), the famous Tarte Flambée! It’s similar to pizza but the dough is made with milk instead of water, it’s spread with a thin layer of sour cream mixed with an egg yolk and the result is crunchy and light. The basic version is made with onions and bacon but after years of visiting this region I started experimenting with the toppings in my own kitchen and here’s one of my favourites.

The combination of cheese and fruit works just as well as on a sandwich. I like to mix thin slices of sour apples like boscoop with a creamy Italian taleggio cheese from the Val Taleggio in the Lombardy region. I baked some thin slices of bacon on top of the Flammkuchen to bring in some smoky saltiness. It’s important to put them on top so that they become crispy and release their juices into the fruity cheese mixture.

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

Flammkuchen with Taleggio, Apples and Bacon

I bake my Flammkuchen and my pizza on a hot baking sheet which has a similar effect to a pizza stone. I preheat it on the bottom of the hot oven and turn it around to bake on the hot surface.

For 1 big Flammkuchen you need

plain flour 250g / 9 ounces
dry yeast 1 package (for 500g / 1 pound of flour)
salt 1/4 teaspoons
sugar 1/2 teaspoon
milk, lukewarm, 120ml / 4 ounces
olive oil 2 tablespoons

for the topping
sour cream 120g / 4.5 ounces
organic egg yolk 1
a pinch of salt
taleggio, cut into cubes, 80g / 3 ounces
sour apple (like boscoop), cored, quartered and cut into thin slices, 1/2 -1
thin bacon slices 6
pepper

In  a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the lukewarm milk and the olive oil and mix with your dough hooks for 5 minutes until well combined. Continue kneading with your hands for a few minutes until you have an elastic dough ball. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a 35°C / 95°F warm oven ( top / bottom heat, no fan!) for about 1 hour.

Take the dough out, punch it down and roll it out into a flat circle on a well floured surface. It should be a bit smaller than the size of your baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let it rise for another 10-15 minutes.

Set your oven to 260°C / 500°F. My oven has a special pizza setting but you can use top / bottom heat as well. Put the baking sheet on the bottom of your oven to heat it (for around 10 minutes).

Whisk the sour cream, egg yolk and a pinch of salt.

Take the hot baking sheet out of the oven, turn it around and place it carefully on two stable wooden boards or mats as it will be very hot. Quickly place your risen dough onto the baking sheet.

Spread a thin layer of the sour cream egg yolk mixture on top of the dough, you might not need all of it. Spread the apples and taleggio on top and season with pepper. Top with the bacon and bake in the hot oven for a few minutes until the Flammkuchen is golden brown and crisp.

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen

 

Flammkuchen