I remember the first time I had quiche. I was at a one of my mother’s cousins’ son’s Bar Mitzvah (whew, that was a mouthful). There were passed hors d’ouevres . I was presented, swiftly, and silently with a tray of square treats that had mushrooms on top and pastry on the bottom. I love mushrooms so I took one, a few seconds later I wished I had taken two, but the server was gone too quickly. I had no idea what it was. It had a wonderful mushroom flavor and a smooth custard that had a glorious flavor of Swiss cheese, no…Gruyere! I was later told that it was quiche.
Culinary school instructors had us making quiche daily to use up ingredients from the previous days production as a sort of Plate du Jour…clever but trite. They taught us that quiche was quick, easy, and pleased a lot of people…it taste great. Pie pastry comes together easily enough and the rest of the ingredients are inexpensive. Years later, I relied on quiche as a go to chef’s feature of the day and my customers were happy.
Home cooks may find that pastry is not as easy as I have made out…we will do a whole post on pastry dough in the future, but for now just go out and buy a frozen pie shell. Or even better might be to make the quiche without any crust at all, perfect for anyone looking for a gluten free treat. I happened to have a frozen shell left over from a little event I did and I made one without a crust too.
The recipe is really quite simple and should be in everyone’s repertoire. You can put just about anything you want into it from bacon and caramelized onions to sauteed vegetables and onions. You can make quiche with or without cheese and in a crust or without. It is perfect for a quick and inexpensive meal and is fancy tasting enough for any occasion.
Makes one 9″ deep dish quiche
4 whole eggs
2 cups milk (half and half or heavy cream makes a richer custard)
a pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp sea salt
a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
In a large mixing bowl: beat the eggs well, add the milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and combine thoroughly. Hold for later…
The filling can be just about anything you can think of that sounds good to you. For this quiche I sauteed half of an onion and about a pound of sliced mushrooms. When the onion was caramelized I added the sliced mushrooms and cooked them until they were just cooked through and the water started to come out of the mushrooms. I could just as easily used my Mushroom Ragout. It is important to use cooked vegetables so that they don’t release their water into the quiche and make the quiche watery.
4 ounces cheese (the better the quality of cheese the better your quiche will be)
4 ounces other filling like rendered diced bacon or sauteed mushrooms or cooked peppers
To Assemble the quiche:
- Place about ½ of the cheese on the bottom of the crust (pre-baked or not both work). If not using a crust butter the bottom of a glass pie plate or casserole dish then proceed as with a crust.
- Place any additional filling items on top of the cheese and cover with the rest of the cheese.
- Pour the custard over the filling until the shell is full (not quite to the top)
- Bake in preheated 350°F oven for about 50 minutes until the custard is “set” (jiggles when shaken)
- remove from the oven and let the quiche rest for about 15 minutes and server or refrigerate for another day, reheated quiche works very well. Enjoy!