A pleasing family quiche

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I tasted my first quiche in a French cafe (in the heart of the U.S. Midwest!) It was so delicious, and so expensive for a piece so small. I finished with an equally expensive white chocolate and pistachio macaron, took home a raspberry croissant for breakfast the next day, and determined I would make these delicacies at home from that day on. It turns out, there’s nothing difficult OR expensive about quiche. Here’s how.

This is a soft egg custard with cheese in a tender pie crust.  It is the most versatile dish I make and never fails. Use whatever cheeses you like, add turkey bacon, herbs, whatever sounds good and fits the budget. My great thanks to Jacques Pepin for the original recipe, and for every one of the dozens of all sorts I’ve made since.

The Crust

Of course you can buy a pie crust. But pie crust is VERY easy. It should have the texture of coarse cornmeal before you add the liquid, and just barely hold together after you add the liquid. The main thing is, add the liquid gradually and stop before the mixture becomes sticky. Give it a try! Homemade is always best.

SINGLE CRUST for a 10” pie plate

1 1/3 cups flour of your choice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup solid shortening, coconut oil, butter, or lard

3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water or milk

Vintage pastry blender, new ones work too 😉

Blend the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or fork. The texture should resemble coarse corn meal after mixing.

Stir in just enough water or milk with fork until dough holds together. Unlike bread dough, use a light touch with pie crusts or they become tough.

For a rustic result, press the crust crumbs evenly into your lightly greased pie pan, covering the bottom and sides. For a more finished result, form the dough into a ball, roll to approximately ¼” thickness and about 3 inches larger than your pie plate, fold it in half, slide into the lightly greased pie pan and press in place. Press the edges down and trim off the excess (for pie crust cookies!), or crimp around the edge in a pattern with your fingers. Set aside and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The filling

Use bacon, turkey bacon, or skip the meat; and use any combination of cheeses you like. I often just use cheeses left from other recipes and add mild yellow onion slices and herbs.

5 large eggs

2 cups (total) dairy in any combination you like. For a rich version, use ½ cup half ‘n’ half, and 1 ½ cups cream. For less fat, use 1 ½ cups milk and ½ cup cream. Once when I didn’t have milk or cream at all, I used 2 cups of plain yogurt.

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and any other herbs you like – rosemary, chive, dill, Herbs de Provence, etc.

1 1/2 cups diced Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese, or any other cheeses you like that aren’t too firm to melt nicely.

(optional) 5 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and broken into pieces

Photo by Omran Jamal on Pexels.com

Beat the eggs in a bowl until well mixed. Stir in the dairy, salt, white pepper, and herbs.

Scatter the bacon and cheese over the raw dough. Place the pie pan on a cookie sheet in the oven and pour in the egg mixture. (This is for easy cleanup in case of a spill.)

Bake for 1 hour or until the filling is set — raised in the middle, only slightly jiggly, and golden on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Make the night before and reheat in the morning for a special start to your day.

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