By Cat, June 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
- See also: 1. Savory Pies & Tarts Menu; 2. Pie & Tart Crust or Pastry Menu; 3. French Quiche Crust
- Includes: 1. Basic Ingredients; 2. Quiche Pans; 3. Basic Quiche Recipe
When my Mom would visit me in Portland, we went out for brunch at a small French restaurant in the old town’s hippie district, called “Crêpe Faire.” Originally they just served crepes, but eventually they added quiche to the menu, and that was my first experience with a savory tart. My favorite was Salmon Quiche. Shortly after that, I bought a quiche pan and a cookbook, “Quiche & Souffle’ by Paul Mayer (1), and learned how to make them for special dinners with friends.
You don’t really need a detailed recipe to make a good quiche, just a few guidelines, and then let your taste buds decide the details.
Quiche is so versatile, that it is very easy to make up your own favorite recipes. The most common ingredients in any quiche are as follows:
Eggs: Use the freshest eggs you can find, preferably from a local farmer who allows his hens to roam pasture. Extra-rich quiche use part whole eggs and part yolks.
Milk & Cream: Good, fresh raw dairy products are recommended, but if these are not available to you, choose non-homogenized organic milk and cream. Table cream is traditional, but a combination of whipping cream and half-&-half is a good approximation
Cheese: The most commonly used cheese in quiche is grated Gruyere, or other Swiss cheese. Grated Romano, Asiago and Parmesan can also be used. Softer crumbled cheeses such as ricotta, feta or Montrachet goat cheese are excellent as well. The best choice depends on the other ingredients. Many Americans use cheddar, but I don’t care for this in a quiche.
An interesting twist is to use Stilton cheese (an English yellow cheese with blue veins) and semi-tart apples (like Granny Smith), with a bit of crumbled bacon.
Veggies: Some member of the onion family (onion, leek, shallot, scallions, garlic) is usually included. Green veggies such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and asparagus are excellent; they should be lightly pre-cooked before adding to the quiche. I would not use chard, unless you want the eggs to pick up the red color from the chard stem.
You can also add fruit, such as apple, pear or seedless grapes (or remove seeds from regular grapes. Winter squash or pumpkin, cut into cooked cubes, is great in a Thanksgiving quiche.
Meat: In general, I prefer meatless quiche, but one of my favorite combinations is scallops, ricotta and asparagus spears, with chopped scallions. Cold-smoked salmon is also excellent in a quiche. An American favorite resembles a Denver Omelet, and includes chopped ham, onions and cheddar cheese.
Or course, the famous Quiche Lorraine is made with cured but not smoked bacon.
Crust: Any pastry brisee (pie crust) recipe can be used, such as my Standard American Pie Crust (I use the whole wheat/spelt version for 10-inch Quiche pan, or 9″ deep dish pan recipe, (the one included in basic recipe, below). Or use my French Quiche Crust recipe.
The traditional pan is white ceramic pan in various diameters, or oval shape, as in photo, right, from Amazon (2). Another option is a stainless steel tart pan with removable bottom, as in photo below and at bottom of page.
Another option is a glass or ceramic deep dish pie pan. Ceramic ramekins can be used for individual pies.
Basic Quiche Recipe
Photo, left, from Amazon (3)
These are the guidelines for my small 7.5″ old-fashioned ceramic pie pan (or a 10″ quiche or pie pan in parenthesis). This crust is a standard pie crust, an alternative to the French crust recipe.
One of my favorite quiches uses asparagus spears arranged like spokes of a wheel on top of a bed of cottage cheese. Then arrange scallops sauteed with chopped scallions or shallots between the spokes. Pour custard over and bake as instructed.
Ingredients & Equipment
- ½ cup (1 cup) whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup (⅓ cup) unbleached white flour
- ¼ tsp (1½ tsp) Unrefined sea salt
- 4 ½ Tbsp (½ cup) butter
- 1 ½ Tbsp (3-4 Tbsp) cold water
- dash (⅛ tsp) cider vinegar
- 1 – 4 Tbsp (¼ – ½ cup) onion, shallot, or leek, sliced or chopped
- 1 -2 (2 – 4) cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 2 Tbsp (¼ cup) butter
- ¾ cup (1 ¾ cup) or so veggies, sliced, cubed or julienne (or combination of veggies & cubed meat)
- herbs to taste (optional)
- ¼ – ½ cup (¾ cup) grated or crumbled cheese
- 2 med or large (3 large or 4 small) eggs
- ¾ cup (1 ½ cup) light cream
- ¼ tsp (½tsp) Unrefined sea salt (or less if your cheese is salty, like feta)
- ⅛ tsp (¼ tsp) black pepper
- ⅛ tsp (¼ tsp) ground nutmeg (opt.)
- medium (large) and small (medium) bowl
- pastry cutter
- rolling pin
- cast iron skillet
- 7.5″ (10″) pie or quiche pan
- Crust: Mix flours and salt in medium (large) bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Mix vinegar and water and sprinkle over flour mixture; mix in with fingers or pastry cutter until separates from bowl. Form into a round and let rest on counter for at least 5 minutes while you prepare the veggies.
- Roll out crust and shape in pan. For small pan, flute edge so that it stands up to raise the height of the crust.
- Prep: Place oven rack in lower third of oven. Preheat to 350°F.
- Slice or chop onion, shallot or leek; mince garlic (if using). Prepare veggies as desired (sliced, cubed or julienne). grate or crumble cheese. Set aside.
- Veggies: Melt butter in skillet and sauté onion/shallot/leek and garlic over medium-low heat until softened; add other veggies & herbs and continue to sauté until just warm.
- NOTES: #1: If using spinach: place in hot skillet and warm until it wilts, then remove and squeeze our as much moisture as you can. #2: If using potatoes, you might want to steam them a bit first.
- Assemble: Spoon veggies onto prepared crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle two-thirds of cheese over (or put cheese in first and veggies on top).
- Whisk eggs in small (medium) bowl. Add cream (and milk, if using); whisk well to combine. Pour over veggie mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese, and bake an additional 20 – 30 minutes (30 – 40 minutes for large pan), until set in center. NOTE: If using a deep dish pan, it may take a bit more time to cook.
- Serve: Transfer quiche, in pan, to a rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. If you used the type of pan that has a removable bottom, remove quiche (on the pan’s bottom) and transfer to serving platter. (Photo, left, of Kaiser Bakeware Basic Tinplate 11-Inch Round Quiche Pan with Removable Bottom, from Amazon (4))
- Quiche & Souffle by Paul Mayer, copyright 1972 by Nitty Gritty Productions, Concord CA
- Amazon, ceramic quiche pan photo: amazon.com/BIA-Cordon-Bleu-1-Quart-Quiche/dp/B00004S4VR
- Amazon, stainless steel tart pan with removable bottom: amazon.com/Fluted-Tart-Quiche-Removable-Bottom/dp/B002UXG108
- Amazon, Kaiser Bakeware Tart pan photo: amazon.com/Kaiser-Bakeware-Tinplate-11-Inch-Removable/dp/B0000CFLJH