Quiche. The quintessential brunch food. The dish that many a husband has turned up his nose at when presented for dinner as a “girlie food”. A poor misunderstood soul. I being the product of a meat-and-potatoes kind of family was raised with a gaping hole in my life where quiche should have filled.
As a young mom myself I now have great empathy for my mother. I’m sure when we were young she whipped up something like a beautiful quiche and proudly presented it to a table full of kids and my father. I’m equally as sure (knowing the picky eaters that we were) that we probably gave her heck over it and complained and fussed and begged for steak or lasagna.
So it is no surprise to me that my first real memories of quiche happened at a friends house. I was eight or nine and my childhood friend Madeline had a birthday party….it must have been a tea party of sorts because there were little fancy appetizers out everywhere. Somewhere along the line I discovered these strange looking spinach filled pies and popped one in my mouth.
Lordy. It was creamy and fluffy at the same time. A perfect blend of spinach and cheese and egg wrapped in a buttery pastry.
Self control wasn’t a strength of mine at that age, and I am fairly certain that over the course of the party I may have eaten just about all of the spinach quiches that were set out.
As the years went on I tried sporadically to recreate this experience and I quickly began to realize that not all quiche is made from the same mold. It is rare to find a quiche that is really special, they tend to be far too custardy in my opinion. Turning what should be a light creamy fluffy experience into more of a pool of slightly under cooked omelette on your plate, an egg jello in your mouth.
Perhaps some people like their quiche to taste like egg jello. I don’t. With four duck eggs coming into our kitchen every morning and our aversion to buying commercially produced meat products I have been cooking up a ton of eggs. Quiche is a great way to use up lots of eggs, half a dozen or more if you like can be used in a single quiche. Not to mention the fact that they freeze extremely well so you can make a few a time and stash them for crazy days.
Kevin had mentioned somewhere in our married life that he loves quiche. I currently have an aversion to making pie crusts after repeated failures so I have been reluctant to try my hand at it for some time. But with a growing stack of eggs in my fridge this week I decided it was finally inevitable.
After purchasing a refrigerated pie crust to ease myself into this experience, I set out to find a recipe that promised to be light and fluffy and actually hold its own in the height department instead of collapsing in the middle. Nothing looked quite right so I threw caution to the wind and started experimenting. We have been eating quiche all week and I must say I’m really happy with this recipe. It’s both light and creamy and as it turns out really quite easy to make, even on a weeknight.
It works lovely as brunch but equally as delightful for a light lunch or dinner with a fresh garden salad and some fruit. Reheating is best done in a toaster oven over a microwave to preserve the texture and flakiness of the crust.
It is worth noting that this recipe is drier and not as squishy as many out there…which I really like. Julia Child’s normal ratio is 6 eggs to 2-3 cups of milk and Thomas Keller’s amazing looking Mushroom Quiche has a whopping 4 cups of liquid! Feel free to adjust as you desire to achieve the perfect quiche for your family. Playing with the milk to half and half or heavy cream ratio will also change the mouth feel….and the calorie count!
A note on seasoning: My primary flaw as a cook is that I chronically under season my food. My reasoning is that you can always put more on it at the table but it’s awful hard to make something edible that’s been over salted. Alas, sometimes it’s a real shame because some things really are much better well seasoned during cooking and quiche is definitely one of those.
It also happens that my primary flaw as a recipe creator is measuring out said seasoning to provide you lucky people with a definitive answer on how much salt and pepper to add. A pinch of salt, a couple rounds around the pan of olive oil, grate fresh pepper to taste…..these are my fall backs. And none of these really work when you are working with quiche. It’s one thing to pop a spoonful of raw cookie dough in your mouth to taste test but slurping a spoonful of quiche batter is a totally different ballgame.
Take away point? I will measure the salt and pepper and update this recipe. Until then just know that without seasoning a quiche…..can be somewhat lackluster. Season well my friends. Heck throw some fancy fresh herbs in there for good measure too if you like.
Happy quiche making!
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half and half (heavy cream or evaporated milk also work)
2 tb flour
2 tsp baking soda
salt and pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheese plus more for top
Favorite Pie crust
Filling ingredients: bacon, onions, spinach, ham, asparagus, mushrooms, etc
- Preheat oven to 350-375 (see note at bottom)
- Make your favorite pie crust or if you like to cheat a little (like me) line your pie pan with a premade refridgerated pie crust. Prick with a fork and cook for 10-30 minutes in oven while you assemble filling (you can bake it raw so this is a personal preference area--longer it cooks the crunchier the crust).
- Prepare filling ingredients to your liking remembering to season them well too.
- Prepare quiche batter by whisking liquids, eggs, flour, baking soda, salt and pepper and herbs together. This can also be done in a blender to whip even more air into the mixture.
- Line the pie crust with the filling mixture and top with cheese. Pour batter over filling and grate additional cheese on top if desired.
- Bake at 350 for 50 min or 375 for 30-40 min.
- Serve with a fresh green salad.
I like the lower temp better but if you've got to get dinner on the table the difference isn't much.