What is Quiche?
Originating in French cuisine, Quiche is a savory pie with a custard filling to which assorted cheeses, vegetables, herbs, meat or seafood may be added. Quiche is a perfect main course for a special breakfast or brunch, but it’s quite satisfying at other meals, too.
There are many variations of Quiche depending on what ingredients are added to the basic custard filling but the French “classic” is Quiche Lorraine, to which Swiss cheese, onions and crisp bacon is added to the custard filling. Vegetables often featured in Quiche include onions, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli and asparagus. Quiche may also contain fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano and paprika.
The Layers – Crust, Filling and Custard
Traditionally Quiche is baked in a regular pie crust. Non-traditional crusts for Quiche have been made of cooked rice, orzo, spinach, grated potatoes and grated cauliflower, to name a few! Making a Quiche is a good way to use leftovers. All the filling ingredients should be cooked, not raw, before they are added to the egg mixture.
Cream or half ‘n half may be used as all or part of the milk required for the custard filling. Most Quiche recipes have 4-6 eggs mixed with the milk, as well as a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture.
Some Quiche recipes advise to partially bake the pie crust before adding the filling but the recipe I use does not require this step and the crust has cooked thoroughly along with the Quiche filling in the 45 minutes required.
Steps to Assembling the Quiche
The first step is making the pie crust, unless you prefer to use a ready-made pie crust. In the recipe below, butter is cut into the flour and salt mixture using a pastry cutter or a food processor. The food processor will do this step in just a few pulses. Enough liquid is added to hold the dough together. Roll out the dough and form a crust in a 10-inch pie pan.
The second step is to melt butter in a skillet and saute vegetables until soft.
Thirdly, combine eggs, milk (or cream or half ‘n half or a combination) and flour in a blender and mix well. Set aside.
Next, spread grated cheese over the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
The fifth step is to add the filling (vegetables, herbs, meat or seafood) on top of the cheese layer and spread it evenly on top.
Then pour the milk-egg-flour mixture over the filling.
Bake the Quiche for 45 minutes or until solid in the middle. Let Quiche set about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
How to Tell When the Quiche is Done
Baked custards should be removed from the oven just before the center is completely set. The center will jiggle very slightly when the dish is gently shaken. Custard will continue to cook after it’s removed from the oven and the center will firm up quickly. Try not to overbake as overbaked custard may curdle.
Test for doneness with a thin-bladed knife. Insert a knife about 1 inch from the center of the Quiche, midway between the center and the edge. If the knife is clean when pulled out, the custard is done. If any custard clings to the blade, place the Quiche back in the oven for a few more minutes and then test again.
- 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- About 4 tablespoons cold water, milk or buttermilk
- Use a pastry cutter or a food processor to cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resembles coarse cornmeal. (The food processor will do this in just a few pulses.)
- Add just enough liquid to hold the dough together. Roll our the dough and for a crust in a 10-inch pie pan.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
- 4-5 strips of bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk (or cream or half 'n half or a mixture of any of these)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- Paprika, to sprinkle on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and bell pepper and saute over medium heat until they begin to soften.
- Add salt, pepper, thyme and dry mustard and saute about 5 minutes and remove from heat.
- Combine eggs, milk and flour in a blender and mix well.
- Spread the grated cheese over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust then spread the onion mixture on top.
- Pour in the custard mixture (from the blender) and sprinkle the top with paprika, if desired.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until solid in the center.
- Let Quiche set for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
In 1982 a bestseller by Bruce Feirstine called Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche attempted to humorously stereotype Quiche as a feminine food in the context of American culture. Don’t worry – real men do in fact eat and enjoy Quiche! I hope you’ll enjoy it, too! Try this recipe soon!
Remember to Savor the Flavor of Quiche!
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