Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quiche-tastic!



I love quiche! It's one of my favorite French bistro dishes and also one of my favorite brunch staples. You can fill a quiche with pretty much anything you like, the sky is the limit. I recently made four quiches for a brunch birthday party for my nephew. I baked two at a time in the oven, and made two of each kind. Depending on the dish you use, the amount of egg filling in this recipe may be too much, but you can use your judgment. I have a deep-dish pie dish which holds a lot of filling (you can easily add another cup of liquid to the custard mixture to fill a deeper crust, say 3 eggs, 1 cup of cream and 1-1 1/2 cups whole milk will work just fine per quiche), but on this particular day I used a regular pie dish and three French-style tart dishes with fluted edges in order to keep all four about the same size. You could use a metal tart pan as well I'm sure, although it would be slightly more shallow than using pie dishes. I know a lot of classic French quiche recipes actually do use a tart pan so it's pretty common. Alternatively, you can easily make mini quiches for hors d'oeuvres by cutting the rolled out pie dough into circles with a cutter (3 1/2 inches works best for a standard muffin pan), lightly pressing the circles into a muffin pan and filling them with whatever you like (a recipe for one large quiche should fill about 15 muffin cups with enough dough and plenty of filling). Some quiche recipes don't even require you to blind bake the crust, just fill it raw. I've tried it both ways and have had good results in either case, so it's really hard to mess this up! It's easy! Just follow the basic steps and you'll prepare a luscious quiche before you know it.

Mediterranean Veggie Quiche Filling

Mediterranean Veggie Quiche


Quiche Lorraine Filling

Quiche Lorraine



Mini Quiches with Sun-dried Tomato, Spinach, and Gruyere Cheese



Mediterranean Vegetable Quiche OR Quiche Lorraine
Makes 2 Quiches (or 30 Mini Quiches)

*Note, these measurements are best for traditional pie dishes, but if you are using a deep dish pie dish, you can increase the amount of milk to better fill the crust with the custard

2 flaky pie crusts (see below)
6 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Salt and pepper

For Mediterranean Filling (for 2 quiches):
1 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 9-oz package frozen chopped spinach, heated in the microwave according to package directions, then squeezed dry
1 4-oz log herbed goat cheese, crumbled

For Quiche Lorraine Filling (for 2 quiches):
8-10 slices smoked bacon, chopped and then fried until crisp
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream, whole milk, and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Distribute chosen fillings evenly into both blind baked pie crusts, finishing with the cheese. Pour custard mixture over the filling until it just reaches the top of the crust without spilling over. You may have leftover custard depending on the depth of your pie dishes.

Bake quiches for 45-55 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden brown and no longer jiggles when lightly shaken. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean, although it may look wet. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

Flaky Pie Crust
Makes 2 9-inch or 10-inch pie crusts

1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup very cold water
3 cups + 2 T. all-purpose flour
1 cup + 5 T. unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small cubes

In a small bowl add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep cold in the refrigerator.

In a food processor, put the flour in the work bowl and add the small butter cubes, scattering all over. Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still the size of peas. Add the water-salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball. You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into two equal balls and shape each ball into a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight (this dough can now be frozen in a freezer bag and then defrosted in the refrigerator the day before it is to be used).

Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and roll out 1/8 inch thick, lifting and rotating the dough to make sure it doesn't stick, and working quickly to ensure the dough stays as cold as possible. Add more flour to the board as needed.

Roll the dough circle gently over the rolling pin and then gently unroll the circle over the pie dish, easing it into the bottom and sides, and pressing gently into place. Avoid stretching the dough, as it will shrink back when baking. Trim the dough edges with a sharp knife and flute or crimp the edges if you prefer. Repeat with the other dough.

Chill the crust 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge before baking. This ensures the flakiest crust.

To blind bake the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights (or dry beans or rice if you don't have weights). Bake until the surface looks dry and pale, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the weights and paper and return the pie crust to the oven and bake a few minutes longer until it is just cooked but still fairly pale.

4 comments :

Jessie said...

I love a good quiche too! I also love the fact that there is an endless possiblies of ingredients to use

Hans-Peter said...

The vegetarian quiche sounds and looks so tasty. I have to try it on my own. Thank's for sharing!

Diane said...

Vicky! You're recipe was so easy to follow. It came out so yummy. My tummy thanks you =)

Victoria K. said...

Haha, you're welcome, Diane! I'm glad it came out well :)

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