I reach over to finish the last sip of my cocktail. A sweet, fizzy blend of muddled blackberries, tequila, lime juice, and club soda, we've named it The 157 and declared it our official apartment cocktail. Dinner is finished. The counter is strewn with dishes: a cutting board, bowls scraped clean, forks.
An episode of Friday Night Lights (old) is playing and a book (new) is waiting upstairs on my bedside table. These evening rituals we fall into are comforting, familiar, exactly the same. I cook dinner using the same spatula, I wear the same pajamas, I eat from the same patterned plate.
You lean over and murmur that you're already wishing it was tomorrow night, in the same place, just as content, with a long day behind us. I think so too, and all the more so if dinner is caramelized garlic and spinach quiche.
Caramelized Garlic, Spinach, and Cheddar Quiche
Adapted from Bon Appetit
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
5 large eggs
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
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
2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups baby spinach
¾ cup crème fraîche
¾ cup heavy cream
To make pie dough: Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is in pea-sized lumps. Slowly pour in between 3 tablespoons and 1/4 cup ice cold water. Using a fork, stir until the dough starts to come together. Once it does, turn it out onto a floured surface and lightly press it with your hands until it comes together in a ball. Press the dough into two flat discs, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a large round circle -- slightly over 12 inches in diameter. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Trim the edges. Place the crust in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
While the crust chills, roll out the second disk of dough into a lightly floured surface to about 1/8" thick, in a rectangle. Cut out 1/4" wide strips. Using three strips at a time, braid the dough.
Beat 1 egg in a bowl. Brush edge of the refrigerated crust with the egg and the bottom of the braid with the egg. Gently place the braid around the edge of the crust and press lightly. Return to the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans. Bake until the crust is dry around the edge, about 25–30 minutes. Remove the foil and dried beans and brush the entire crust with egg. Bake until crust is dry, about 10–15 minutes. Let cool.
While the crust is cooling, cook your garlic cloves in a small saucepan of boiling salted water until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes; drain. Wipe the saucepan dry and heat olive oil in pan over medium-high.
Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until cloves start to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add maple syrup, rosemary, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is golden and starts to thicken and coat the cloves, about 10 minutes.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator and scatter the grated cheese over the bottom, followed by the spinach. Whisk crème fraîche, cream, and remaining eggs in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the spinach and cheese. Add the garlic along with any leftover syrup in the saucepan. Bake until the inside of the quiche is set and golden brown in spots, 35–40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.