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Here's an ideal winter brunch dish: a hearty vegetable quiche, wrapped up in a healthy (and tasty!) whole-grain barley crust. Of course, Our Favorite Pie Crust Recipe works beautifully, also.
3/4 cup (3 ounces) barley flour
1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 to 2 teaspoons ice water
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) milk or half and half
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) Signature Secrets® Culinary Thickener or 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or 12 ounces (2 cups) frozen asparagus pieces, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheese (sharp cheddar or Gruyere)
1 cup cauliflower florets, blanched
1/2 cup (4 ounces) diced roasted red peppers
freshly grated Parmesan to garnish
To make the crust: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the dry ingredients until the dough is unevenly crumbly. Add the egg, stirring until it's well integrated. Sprinkle in the water, continuing to mix until the dough is cohesive. Shape the dough into a disk, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm a bit. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 14-inch circle, and transfer it to a quiche pan or 9-inch pie pan that's at least 1 1/4 inches deep. Crimp the edges. Prick, then blind-bake the crust for 20 minutes while you're preparing the filling.
To make the filling: Whisk together the milk, eggs, thickener, herbs, salt, pepper, spinach (or aspagagus), and cheese.
Remove the crust from the oven. Place the cauliflower and peppers in the bottom, then slowly pour the filling over them. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F and bake the quiche for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted 1" from the edge comes out clean. Remove the quiche from the oven, and cool it for 1 hour before serving. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.