I have the bad habit of letting little uneaten nubbins of cheese languish in my fridge until they're so stale there's nothing left to do but throw them out. This cheese pie (really, it's a quiche, if you want to be a stickler about accuracy) is the solution, transforming those once doomed leftover bits and giving them new life as pockets of beautiful melted cheese set in a custard base.
Why this recipe works
- Blind baking the crust before filling it guarantees it's crisp and flaky.
- Freezing the pie shell, docking it, and using pie weights minimize shrinkage during blind baking, so that the shell will be deep enough to fill.
Note: For ease, you can also use a pre-made pie crust, blind-baking according to manufacturer instructions and following recipe from step 3. This recipe calls for 1 cup each heavy cream and whole milk, but you can also substitute 2 cups of half-and-half.
- 1/2 recipe Easy Pie Dough, rolled out to a 12-inch circle (see note)
- 1 cup heavy cream (see note)
- 1 cup whole milk (see note)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces mixed rindless soft and semi-soft cheeses (such as Gruyere, Fontina, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Stilton, Jack, etc.), cubed or broken into small clumps
- Minced chives, for garnish (optional)
Lay pie dough into an 8-inch tart pan or pie dish (at least 1 1/2 inches deep), and trim excess dough around the edge. Press dough gently into edges, then, with a docker or the tines of a fork, poke holes in even rows across the base and around the wall of dough. Freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°F and set rack to center position. Line the dough with parchment paper, allowing it to overhang the sides, and fill the pan with pie weights, dried beans, or dry rice. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment paper, wrap edges of the pie dough with tin foil, and return to the oven. Bake until lightly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and lower oven temperature to 350°F.
In a large bowl, whisk cream and milk with eggs until thoroughly incorporated. Whisk salt and pepper into custard base.
Scatter cheese all over bottom of pie and set on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to the oven, then carefully pour custard base into pie (you can slide the oven rack out slightly to help with this, but be sure to push it back gently to avoid spilling the pie filling). Bake until center is just barely set but still jiggles when touched, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, sprinkling minced chives on top, if desired.
8-inch tart pan or pie plate (at least 1 1/2 inches deep)