Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche

Serves 8

The center of the quiche will be surprisingly soft when it comes out of the oven, but the filling will continue to set (and sink somewhat) as it cools. If the pie shell has been previously baked and cooled, place it in the preheating oven for about five minutes to warm it, taking care that it does not burn. Because ingredients in the variations that follow are bulkier, the amount of custard mixture has been reduced to prevent overflowing the crust. Be sure to wash the leeks thoroughly to remove any grit.

2 medium leeks, washed thoroughly and cut into ½-inch dice (about 2 cups)-can substitute shallots, chives, or garlic chives
2 tablespoons fresh chopped seasonal herbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
4 ounces mild goat cheese-broken into ½-inch pieces
9-inch partially baked pie shell (warm), baked until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Sauté white parts leeks in butter over medium heat until soft, 5–7 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk all remaining ingredients except goat cheese in medium bowl.

2. Spread goat cheese and leeks evenly over bottom of warm pie shell and set shell on oven rack. Pour in custard mixture to 1/2-inch below crust rim. Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.