Friday, June 1, 2012

Ode to Quiche

Dear Quiche, I love you. Quiche might possibly be the official Gour-maybe? food. Why? Because it looks impressive, it tastes amazing, and a monkey could make it if left with the ingredients in a closed room with an oven for long enough.They also are full of eggs and salt which are my favorites.  My first tip is to make a double batch of crust. That way you have four quiche (or tart or pie crusts) that you can use anytime. All you need to do is move them from the fridge to freezer for 24 hours and make the filling. Second – a quiche can be anything! Herbs, meat, herbs, vegetables and cheese, cheese and meat, ham, crab, anything. I have made some of my best ones from just whatever I had in the fridge. The crust is adapted from The Blackberry Farm Cookbook, I add more salt because I always do. I add a little less or more shortening by feel, but follow the recipe if that makes you uncomfortable. Recipe and how-to and more obsessing on quiche after the jump.

Basic Quiche (Serves 8-10)
You will need:
Basic tart/pie/quiche crust recipe (can be doubled or tripled)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C vegetable shortening *cold + 2-3 T
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T white vinegar *do not freak out about the vinegar, it makes the crust extra flaky, you can't taste it
  • 1/3 C ice water (plus 2 T if needed)
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, blend in shortening until the mixture reaches a "coarse meal" (large grains of sand) texture. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vinegar and 1/3 C ice water whisking until combined (you can always add more, but it's hard to remove water!). Pour the mixture onto the flour/shortening. Stir until just combined (this will be a loose mixture). Using your hands turn onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Divide the ball in half, and flatten into thick disks. Wrap tightly in saran wrap. Keep in fridge or freeze until ready to use, allowing it to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before hand.

For the Quiche filling:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • ½ C half and half
  • 1 ½ - 2 C of filling (whatever combo of meat, cheese, herbs or veggies your heart desires etc)
  • 1/2 T Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
Filling ideas
Goat cheese, tarragon, basil and roasted chicken (or no chicken)
Lorraine (bacon or pancetta, swiss and cheddar cheeses)
Caramelized onions, goat cheese and sauteed fennel
Sauteed wild mushrooms (shiitake, portobello) and thyme

 Mix eggs, cream, half and half, salt pepper in large bowl. Whisk vigorously until well combined. If you use herbs, add them to this mixture. All other fillings will be added separately. 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-inch quiche pan with removable bottom. Take your crust and roll it out on a floured surface to be about 1/5 of an inch thick. Fold in half and place into your quiche pan. Unfold and press down in the bottom and up the sides, making sure there are no rips or tears (the filling will leak out). Do not stress about this part, if pieces break off, push them back into the sides. You tell the dough what to do, not the other way around! Cut a piece of parchment paper in a circle/disc to fit the flat bottom of the crust. Place the parchment disc on the crust and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Remove, and remove weights/beans and parchment. Mix your Quiche filling. Place any non-herb filling evenly on the bottom of the crust (cheese, onions, veggies, meat). Pour liquid filling mixture into the crust on top of the other fillings. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top and set.

This is good cold or hot, for breakfast lunch or dinner.

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