I've become quite the fan of quiche. When all is said and done, what's not to love? There's nothing wrong with creamy, custardy eggs and tasty toss-ins encased in a flaky pastry crust...except that you might have to make said pastry crust.
Yep, that's far and away the hardest part of the whole affair. If you've ever ordered quiche at a restaurant and been served something with a less-than-stellar crust, you know how important it is to take the extra time and make it good. Having made hundreds of crusts in my lifetime (99% occurring in the last 3 years), you'd think I could do it with one hand behind my back. While I'm undoubtedly more confident and have a much higher success rate, I still goof up occasionally and still absolutely dread the endeavor every time.
In the case of quiche, though, the crotchety crust is worth every ounce of hassle. Sure, you could make a frittata and skip the crust entirely or you could buy a ready-made crust and save yourself some trouble, but I ask you--when a pastry crust is made correctly, is there any comparison? I submit that there is not. It adds some class and some great flavor to what could be a boring breakfast egg pie.
I have pretty simple tastes when it comes to quiche--I enjoy bacon and cheese, obviously, and some cooked onion has earned a spot as well. I've tried tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, and roasted red peppers, and they're all welcome every once in awhile, but my staples are the aforementioned trifecta. I like some dried mustard in there as well, and I've found that just a hint of nutmeg adds something special too. Your mileage may vary.
Tips for quiche success:
- Crust is key! Whether you're using a homemade or store-bought crust, be sure to blind bake it before adding your filling.
- Adding an egg wash to the blind-baked pastry shell will help to seal it and prevent sogginess.
- Be sure to saute any raw vegetables you might be adding so that the time in the oven will be sufficient to finish cooking them before the eggs are done. Also, try to keep them evenly chopped.
- When it comes to making the custard filling, try to avoid using low-fat products, as their high water content can prevent the quiche from setting properly and can make it too watery.
- As you combine the milk and eggs, beat only enough to loosen the eggs--don't let them get frothy. The custard is ready to pour into the crust when no streaks of milk remain.
- Don't fill the quiche to the rim--leave about a 1/2-inch of space. Since it can be tricky to transfer a full quiche to the oven without spilling the custard, it's best to transfer the custard to a liquid measuring container and pour the custard into the shell after placing the pie plate on a baking sheet in the oven.
- Take the quiche out of the oven when the center is still slightly wobbly. This will ensure that it doesn't overcook and will still have its creamy custard texture when you cut into it.
- Always allow a quiche to rest at least 15 to 20 minutes before cutting or removing from the pan--your patience will be rewarded.
- While you can reheat your quiche by the slice in the microwave for a quick fix, it retains its quality much better if you have the time to warm it in a 250 degree F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 4 pieces bacon, cooked crispy and coarsely chopped
- 8 ounces gouda, jack, or provolone cheese, shredded
- 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Blind bake your pie crust for 10 to 15 minutes, just to give it a head start.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Saute the onion until lightly browned and very aromatic, about 7 minutes.
- Apply an egg wash to the pie crust (see tips above), and then sprinkle the sauteed onions, chopped bacon, and shredded cheese evenly onto the pie crust.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and cream. Season with mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with vegetable and cheese mixture.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until set in the center.
- Allow to stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.