If you haven't had quiche lately, it is time to remedy that situation. I could eat quiche for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without ever growing tired, but quiche is an especially good dish for a big Easter brunch or other spring-time gathering. You make it the day ahead, slice it just before serving, and then pass out the plates. This fool-proof recipe has yet to disappoint.
Quiche is essentially an custard made with milk and eggs poured into a pie crust and baked. You want just enough eggs to set the milk, but not so many that the quiche becomes rubbery. You want a bit of wobble in your quiche as it comes out of the oven. Wobble means silky, melt-away custard in every bite.
The fool-proof part comes courtesy of the French. They are masters of the quiche and long-ago settled on the perfect formula of one part egg to two parts milk. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and a cup of milk is eight ounces, so a good rule of thumb is two eggs per cup of milk. I like to bump this up a bit to make a more substantial quiche and usually go with three eggs and a cup and a half of milk in a nine-inch pie crust.
Cheese makes a luscious custard even more luscious. There's no hard and fast rule here. Two cups of cheese makes an especially rich quiche, good for a family brunch or dinner party. Cut it back to a cup or so for a weeknight dinner.
The other fillings just need to be cooked through and fairly dry. Aim for one to two cups cooked ingredients -- fewer lets you enjoy the silkiness of the quiche while more make a more substantial meal. Wilted spinach, crisp bacon bits, sauté mushrooms, caramelized onions, and asparagus are all favorites in various combinations.
I'm always surprised by how easily a quiche comes together. I'm still working on my pie-crust skills, but luckily, this is maybe the one dish where the crust is secondary to the filling. That first bite of soft eggy custard makes all other thoughts fade away.
What is your favorite quiche?
What You Need
1 9-inch pie crust
1-2 cups filling ingredients, like bacon, mushrooms, onions, and spinach
1-2 cups (3 oz - 6 oz) grated cheese, like Gruyere, Swiss, or Cheddar
3 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz) milk
1/2 cup (4 oz) cream
1 teaspoon salt
9-inch cake or pie pan - straight-sided is traditional, but a pan with sloped sides works fine
1. Blind-Bake the Crust: Line a 9-inch cake tin with parchment and spray the sides with non-stick spray. Roll out the pie crust and fit it into the tin. Trim away any overhang and reserve for patching up any cracks that appear during baking. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the pie crust with parchment and fill with pie weights or beans. Make sure the weights are snug against the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the weights and parchment. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Cool.
2. Prepare the Filling: While the crust is baking, prepare your quiche filling. Make sure all ingredients are cooked through and fairly dry. (Ie, make sure spinach has wilted and that cooked mushrooms have released all their moisture.)
3. Prepare the Quiche Filling: Sprinkle half the cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and top with the fillings. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.
4. Prepare the Custard Filling: Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, and salt until frothy. Pour the custard into the pie crust.
5. Bake the Quiche: Bake the quiche at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes, until the edges are set but the quiche still jiggles a little in the center. Cool for at least 20 minutes, but ideally overnight.
Quiche can be served cold, room temperature, or warmed. If serving warm, heat in a 300°F oven until just warm to the touch.
• Quiche Lorraine: 6-8 slices chopped bacon, 1 diced yellow onion, 1 cup gruyere cheese
• Mushroom Quiche: 16 oz mushrooms, 1/2 diced yellow onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme, 2 cups gruyere cheese
• Ham and Asparagus Quiche: 1/2 diced yellow onion, 1/2 pound chopped asparagus, 1 diced ham steak, 2 cups swiss cheese.
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(Images: Emma Christensen)