Pecan Crust Spinach Brie Tart

A visual delight, the tart filling sits atop a toasted pecan crust.  The subtle pecan flavor in the crust is delicious and a crust recipe that I will use again.
Baked in a rectangle tart pan, the Pecan Crust Spinach Brie Tart cuts into attractive rectangles, or triangles–your choice.  The fluted edge of the tart pan offers guidelines for cutting.
ready for the oven; fresh thyme shared by My Friend V tops the spinach brie tart
tart cooling in the afternoon sunlight
Pecan Crust Spinach Brie Tart
(recipe adapted from here)
Tart Crust:
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 c toasted pecans, finely chopped
2 t sugar
8T cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
1 t Dijon mustard
1T water, approximately (add just enough to bring the tart shell together)
Tart Crust:
(This recipe makes a very soft dough.  There will be dough left over if using a 4 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ tart pan with removable bottom.)
  1. Process flour, toasted pecans, and sugar in food processor
  2. Add butter and pulse to cut butter into flour mixture.
  3. Add egg yolk and mustard; add water if needed
  4. Remove dough from food processor; press together in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour
  5. Press dough into tart pan; line with parchment and fill with weights
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
  7. Remove parchment paper and weights; return tart shell to oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes until browned
  8. Sit aside to cool
Tart Filling:
3 slices bacon, fried until crisp
3 small green onions, chopped
5 oz bag fresh spinach
3 eggs
2/3 c whole milk
1/4 t salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of red pepper flakes
4 oz brie cheese, cut into small pieces
fresh thyme

Tart Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Fry bacon in pan; remove from pan and drain on paper towel to cool; chop into small pieces when cooled
  3. Add chopped green onions to bacon grease and cook 2 or 3 minutes
  4. Add fresh spinach to bacon grease/green onions; cook until wilted which should only take a couple of minutes
  5. Drain spinach/onion to remove excess moisture (I use a ricer to squeeze out excess liquid)
  6. Chop spinach well before spreading on top of the baked, cooled tart crust.
  7. Add bacon
  8. Mix all other tart filling ingredients in small bowl.  Slowly pour over spinach/onion/bacon.
  9. Top with brie cheese
  10. Add a few sprigs of thyme
  11. Bake 30 – 35 minutes until filling is set.  Let cool a few minutes, cut and enjoy.

Quiche w/roasted cauliflower and oven roasted tomatoes

Parmigiano-Reggiano, roasted tomatoes, herbed heavy whipping cream

quiche curst, ready to cool – I shaped this using a 6″ cake pan; this helped me roll the crust into…

…a pretty round shape

lining the pottery baking dish with the herbed quiche crust

cool and cut

Quiche Crust (adapted from Rachel Allen Bake here)
200 gr flour
1/4 t salt
Rub into flour, 100 gr cold butter until mealy in texture
Add one egg, whisked to break yolk
Toss lightly the egg and flour/butter mixture
(you may need a few drops of water if the egg is small)
Shape crust into circle and refrigerate 45 minutes
Remove pastry from refrigerator
Roll to 1/8″ circle
Place in baking dish
Blind bake @ 350 degrees for 35 minutes; remove beans; bake an additional 10 minutes; cool completely
Quiche Filling

Whisk together:
250 ml heavy whipping cream
4 eggs
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 t grated lemon rind (fresh would be better, but I use dried powder from Penzey’s)
pinch of salt
pinch of Herbes de Provence
(adjust spices to your taste)
Layer into quiche shell:
1 head oven roasted, seasoned cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/2 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
6 oven roasted roma tomatoes
(or choose vegetables of your choice)
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes, until center of quiche is properly baked (insert knife in center- it should come out clean)

quiche quest

In my quest for what my palate considers the perfect quiche, I continue to search and research and bake, and then try another recipe (earlier efforts here) and bake again.  I don’t really know what I’m looking for, but I do think I will know when it is achieved.

I’m becoming pleased with the crust recipe I’m using; however, the custard/filler portion of the quiche is still definitely a work in progress.

I’ve been on this quest for about a year, and I have baked some really bad quiches.  I’ll look back some day and realize that the journey to success is littered with trials (that would preach on Sunday morning!).

I’ve become a fan of the Cooking Channel, and Rachel Allen Bake.  In a recent episode, Rachel was teaching her cooking students to prepare a spinach, potato, and goat cheese tart.  Her crust making process appeared simple, and I was again inspired.  The pictures in this post are of my first attempt using her recipe.  I have since tweaked the recipe, more to suit my taste.

The pictures below are pretty, but the dish still needs adjustments.

nutmeg…In my opinion, the more the better.  I now grate fresh nutmeg over the top of the quiche before and after baking.

afternoon sunshine…photographer/artist sneaks out at least once in every food shoot

crust…molds well in the removable bottom tart pan

I think my filling overflowed, baking to a darker, crunchy, flavorful crust.  It’s probably not culinarily correct, but it’s pretty.
attractive slice…taste is important, but so is pretty

As you can see, the bottom crust is too moist.  That I have now corrected by increasing the blind bake time.  I prefer the potatoes shredded rather than cubed.  The baby spinach would probably be more flavorful if I added some ‘fat meat grease’ as Mom would say, but as of yet, I’m sticking to the healthy version.

You can find Rachel’s recipe here; however, I’ll note my adjustments in a later blog post, along with updated pictures.


bacon – potato – asparagus – cheese

…sounds a bit healthier than my usual posts…

This quiche is very good. It’s light and fluffy, and the flavors work well together. And, I think this will be a much healthier lunch option than some of my others during the work week.

The recipe is adapted from “Brunch,” a Betty Crocker publication from March 2008 (page 21)

refrigerated pie crust (I blind baked mine before filling)
1 c. frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
1 c. asparagus, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 c. diced smoked bacon
6 oz diced Havarti cheese
I didn’t pre cook any of the above; I chopped, mixed together, and placed in pie shell.

Mix very will with hand mixer (you need the bubbles!)
4 extra large eggs
1 c. whole milk
(I added a little dried thyme and dried basil)
1/8 t. salt
Pour this over the ingredients in the pie shell.

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 55 minutes. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean when the quiche is done.


"Quiche freezes well for up to two months after baking or for one month before baking. Use any favorite filling like bacon and green chilies, onion and cheese or ham and artichoke hearts. To freeze quiche before baking: Tray-freeze until firm; then wrap with freezer paper, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or slide it into a freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze up to one month. Do not thaw before baking. Unwrap and bake as usual, allowing 10 to 20 minutes additional time. To freeze quiche after baking: Tray-freeze; then wrap with freezer paper, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or slide it into a freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze up to two months. Do not thaw before reheating. Unwrap and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through.  from: Missouri Families: Food Safety"