Healthy-ish. A closer look at the ingredients of whole wheat flour, ripe bananas, fresh blueberries, dark chocolate and 2% Greek yogurt, you can’t help but feel a bit smug when eating something so decadent. No butter, honey instead of refined sugar, and you are patting yourself on the back.
This combines parts of two previous banana bread recipes I’ve made in the past. And it is a treat anytime of day—for breakfast with more fresh fruit, a snack in the afternoon, or dessert in the evening with perhaps a dollop of good French vanilla ice cream. OK, so maybe the ice cream isn’t in keeping with the healthy factor, but sometimes you just need some self-love, right?
No mix master needed. Simply get a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas, add the other ingredients and then pour batter into your prepared loaf pan. Top with a smattering of additional blueberries and chocolate pieces, pop in the preheated oven for an hour. Voila, masterpiece accomplished!
A popular item to share at a Sunday brunch. If it is not all eaten right away, wrap in plastic wrap followed by a layer of tinfoil and keep in the refrigerator, or freeze.
Healthy Blueberry Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate
Quiche is one of those versatile dishes that can be served at any meal, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Once baked and cooled slightly, it can be eaten right away, or refrigerated for another time. Using a combination of milk and heavy cream, it yields the richest, creamiest filling ever.
With a large amount leftover from a recent dinner party featuring Ham Braised in Madeira with Rosemary & Peppercorns, and a block of gruyere that never got used, we had the starter ingredients for our filling. To that we included some diced shallot and chopped fresh thyme.
We are “those” people that thrive on culinary challenges, but if you don’t have the time, or the stamina to create your own crust, by all means purchase a pre-made store bought variety. But be forewarned, this crust recipe is fabulous, and according to The Hubs, the best he’s ever made! He really liked the trick of adding the leftover dough to the edges for crimping and fluting. This also helped prevent the crust from sinking down.
NOTE: This recipe is enough for a double crust pie. If you only need 1 crust for your pie, cut this recipe in half OR freeze the other half.
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface.
Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats.
Form it into a ball. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky.
Cut the dough in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days. Or freeze.
When rolling out the chilled pie dough discs to use in your pie, always use gentle force with your rolling pin. Start from the center of the disc and work your way out in all directions, turning the dough with your hands as you go. Visible specks of butter and fat in the dough are perfectly normal and expected.
Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle so that there is enough crust to go up the edges of the glass pie dish. Cut away extra dough but leave about an inch overhang.
Gather all of the extra dough pieces, mush together and roll out into a thin rectangle. Cut 1-inch strips and add them to the top edge of the pie crust. Crimp or flute the edges.
Chill the shaped pie crust for at least 30 minutes. This prevents shrinking. Remember that pie dough must be cold.
Fill with pie weights (or dried beans). As the pie dough bakes, its fat will melt. The melting fat causes the pie crust to shrink down the sides of the pie dish. To prevent the pie dough from completely losing its shape, weigh it down with pie weights. Carefully line the pie dough with parchment paper first, then pour in pie weights/dry beans.
Bake until the edges are lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
Remove pie weights, then prick the crust with a fork.
Bake crust for about 8 more minutes.
The Perfect Quiche
1 unbaked flaky pie crust (recipe above)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup cubed ham
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup minced shallot
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Partially blind bake your pie crust as indicated above. Crust can still be warm when you pour in the filling. (You can partially pre-bake the crust up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill.)
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When melted, add shallot pieces and cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper together on high speed until completely combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in ham, cheese, shallot and thyme.
Bake the quiche until the center is just about set, about 45-55 minutes. Don’t over-bake. Use a pie crust shield to prevent the pie crust edges from over-browning. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Top with optional toppings before slicing and serving, if desired. Or you can cool the quiche completely before serving– it’s fantastic at room temperature!
This quiche makes great leftovers! Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can pre-bake the crust ahead of time too. To freeze, cool baked quiche completely, then cover tightly with a couple sheets of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter, then bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.