Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Tart

Also known as a quiche. One of my favorite dishes in the world. It’s very uncool to like eggs as much as I do. They are such a good source of protein, economical, and versatile. Quiche Lorraine? Delicious. Quiche can hide vegetables you may not be crazy about and make them tempting. Gruyere, the Grandmaster of all cheeses, is the best quiche-cheese there is. If you put eggs and Gruyere in the same dish, the rest of the ingredients are almost insignificant.

I only buy “pasture-raised eggs” because apparently in the marketing world “free-range” or “cage-free” means living outside of cage but in a giant warehouse with 10,000 other chickens with their beaks burnt off so they don’t peck each other to death. It’s worth another $1-2 for me to know my eggs came from a happier chicken who roamed outside. Obviously, eggs bought from the farmers market where you can talk to the farmers themselves is the ideal situation. I do that as often as my schedule allows.

Note: I rarely use heavy cream in my quiches. It’s too heavy and rich for me. For this quiche I’ll be using a combination of half-and-half and 2% milk. If you make it this way it will take a little longer to bake. I ended up baking mine for about 50-55 minutes at 350F.

I was at the salon getting a pedicure the other day (this makes me sound very luxurious, indeed…<cough> first time in two years), and I saw the cover of Bon Appetit with this tart on it. I read the ingredients and instructions and thought, “Yup, I can do that, especially with a pre-made, frozen pie crust.”  It’s happening today.  Any bets on whether the toddler will eat it? He, like his momma, is a big fan of eggs. “E-double g-s eggs!”.

Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Tart


The unsung hero of this dish? The nutty-sweet garlic.



  • All-Butter Pie Dough (click here for recipe)
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ¾ cup crème fraîche
  • ¾ cup heavy cream


  • Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 350°. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 14” round. Transfer to a 9”-diameter pie dish. Lift up edge and let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Fold overhang under. Freeze 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, roll out second disk of dough on a lightly floured surface until about ⅛” thick. Cut into ¼”-thick strips. Transfer to a parchment–lined baking sheet. If dough is soft, chill until just pliable. Working with 3 strips at a time, braid dough, returning braids to baking sheet as you go. Chill until just pliable.
  • Beat 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush edge of dough in dish and bottom sides of braids with egg. Arrange braids along edge, trimming and gently pressing sections together as you go. Freeze 15 minutes.
  • Line dough with parchment paper or foil, leaving some overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around edge, 25–30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and brush entire crust with egg. Bake until crust is dry and set, 10–15 minutes. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, cook garlic in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes; drain. Wipe saucepan dry and heat oil in pan over medium-high. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until cloves start to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until garlic is tender, 10–12 minutes. Add maple syrup, rosemary, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and coats garlic, about 5 minutes.
  • Scatter cheese over crust; top with spinach. Whisk crème fraîche, cream, and remaining eggs in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pour over spinach. Add garlic with any syrup. Bake until custard is set and golden brown in spots, 35–40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
  • Recipe by Inez Valk-Kempthorne
  • Photograph by Gentl & Hyers

Eggs! Eggs! E-double g-s eggs! …And thinking of eggs, reminds me of Sam, whose favorite dish is Green Eggs & Ham.

This entry was published on March 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm. It’s filed under cooking, recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Tart

  1. Hey…eggs are never uncool! I love them too!😁


  2. This looks fantastic!


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