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melo_annechen ([personal profile] melo_annechen) wrote2016-05-06 07:13 pm
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Don't Fear The Egg Pie

The Basic Quiche

Another of my favorite “put it together and throw it in the oven” dishes, the quiche is a great way to use leftovers, as well as give an elegant presentation to scrambled eggs.

First, a little history. Quiche was not originally a French dish. Let’s be honest, any culture that had eggs and milk as a regular part of their diet has had some sort of custard dish. What we call “quiche” most likely started as “kuchen” in Lothringen. After the Carolingian Empire got divided up, the district generally allied with whichever of the neighbors was best at the time. Mostly that mean the East Francia folks, who included Alemannia, Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia. So, the area had  a lot a Germanic influences there. After a thousand years of being an independent duchy, politics happens, they play a couple of rounds of “who’s got an heir”, they get renamed as Lorraine and locked into the modern Republic of France.

There you have it, that lovely mixture of heavy cream, eggs and bacon or chopped ham, Quiche Lorraine, was named for the district, not a woman. The B-52’s song is something else entirely.

Generally made in a 9” shallow pie or tart pan, the formula does well with or without crust. Just remember to be generous when greasing the pan. However, you can also mix up a batch of the custard base and split it between ramekins or muffin cups. Remember that smaller quiches may need shorter baking times, and plan accordingly.

For a firm pie crust, blind bake it: Heat the oven to 350°F. Line the pie crust with baking parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Yes, people make the strangest kitchen gadgets. Beans work, and you *can* still cook and eat them later, but I would just keep them as weights, because the flavor profile after you essentially roast them is kinda weird to me. Keep them in a jar, labeled as a science experiment, and most people will leave them alone.

Anyway, to continue: make sure whatever weights you use are snug against the sides of the pan. Bake for 12- 20 minutes and remove the weights and parchment. If you were making an icebox pie, this is when you would bake it for another 10 to 15 minutes until just starting to brown. But you want to bake your custard, so let the par-baked crust cool as you assemble the rest of it.

Fat is not evil. Everything in moderation, yes? In the case of the quiche, the fat in the dairy products is necessary to the firmness of the finished quiche.  Using fat free substitutes will make for a watery quiche, although whole milk can be substituted if necessary for the half and half. You are generally not going to be making this every day, after all.

Your milk to egg ratio should be one part egg to two parts milk. One method I’ve seen attributed to Julia Child is put the eggs in a large measuring cup and add enough dairy (whether it be cream, half & half, or whole milk] to bring the total up to 1/2 cup (118 ml) per egg (eg: 4 eggs, add dairy to make 2 cups or 473 ml).

This is another reason to watch what you are getting in the store. Depending on where you are shopping, the eggs could be throwing off your measurements. Know your eggs!

American and Canadian Markets

European Market

Australian Market

New Zealand Market

Average Mass Per Egg

Average Cooking Yield (Volume)

Extra Large



7 (Large)

2.25 oz or 64 g

56 ml (4 tbsp)

Large (L)


Extra Large


2 oz. or 57 g

46 mL (3.25 tbsp)

Medium (M)




1.75 oz. or 50 g

43 mL (3 tbsp)

Going by this chart, the extra large eggs would make your egg/dairy ratio closer to 1:1, and the medium ratio would be 3:5. Adjusting your recipe for egg size and dairy fat content is something you may want to experiment with before making quiche for an important event.

For filling, you can use any combination of any vegetables and/or meat up to two cups total. The ratio I like is one cup of whatever cheese I am using balanced with the other additions.

  • Precooked meat:

    • BACON goes with nearly everything

    • chicken, turkey

    • ground beef, sausage

    • seafood such as shrimp, lobster, crab

  • Vegetable:

    • Cauliflower, zucchini chunks and/or broccoli, microwave three minutes to start the cooking process.

    • Onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, slice thinly and sauté briefly before adding.

  • Cheese: Swiss, gruyere, Colby jack, cheddar, parmesan, provolone or any combination

  • Seasonings:

    • Nutmeg binds and “sweetens” the other flavors, and is a friend to eggs

    • Fines herbes: a combination of herbs; fresh parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil, good for a delicate flavor in a cheese quiche, but may not stand up to stronger players

    • dill, thyme, rosemary, and garlic are good choices for heartier fillings, but be careful to match the taste - dill added to a sausage quiche may not work if it is hot pepper breakfast sausage, but will make salmon dance.

To place the quiche in the oven without spilling it all over the oven interior, place the quiche minus your custard base on a baking sheet on the middle rack, extended. Carefully and evenly pour the liquid on the quiche fillings and carefully slide the baking sheet and all into the oven.

Quiche bakes at 375℉ degrees.  It’s done when a table knife inserted in the middle comes out clean – about 35-40 minutes. If the pie crust browns before the filling is done, cover the crust with aluminum foil and continue baking until the filling is done.

Remember carry-over cooking with the residual heat after you take it out of the oven, so let it set about 10 minutes before slicing and serving, if you are not chilling it for a summer luncheon.

I did mention muffin cups, didn’t I? There’s a version of egg pie that uses salsa, cheese, and if you’re feeling the need, black beans that is wonderful. Again, it can be made without a crust, but the tortilla cups are a nice addition.

Quiche Rancheros


4 eggs

Enough sour cream to bring the custard to 2 cups (heavy cream or whole milk may be substituted)

½ cup shredded cheese (Cheddar or Monterey Jack, Queso Oaxaca for the adventurous)

¼ cup salsa

¼ cup cooked black beans

3 extra large (burrito) tortillas or 12 small (soft taco) tortillas

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oven to 350℉. Grease the muffin tin.

  2. Stack tortillas and cut out 12 small (about 3.5 inch) round circles out of the tortillas. If you are not fussy and like tortilla chips with your breakfast, just cut the large ones into quarters and run with it. You will have to watch the edges on these carefully, though.

  3. Press each tortilla circle into the greased muffin tins using your fingers. Don’t worry if they don’t settle perfectly, the filling will weigh them in. If you like really crispy tortillas, lightly brush the edges with vegetable oil. Set aside.

  4. In a medium bowl, whip the eggs and sour cream until fully combined, then add half of the cheese. This does not need to be perfectly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Pour the egg mixture into the tortillas, about 1 ½ ounce in each, which should be about halfway filled, but sometimes it is hard to tell with the tortilla crenelations.

  6. Add a teaspoon each of salsa and beans to each cup.

  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

  8. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the eggs, continue baking for 3-5 minutes more or until cheese is bubbly and tortilla crust is golden.

  9. Serve warm, but not right out of the oven, because the cheese will hurt if it is still bubbling.

Next week we’ll look at drinks for the brunch you may be making quiche for.

[identity profile] 2016-05-08 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
And always remember- real men do eat quiche and don't let idiots dictate what they eat.

[identity profile] 2016-05-08 09:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, yeah - that era when the truly fragile egos got loud. Why such a really good way to get inexpensive protein in your diet was so scary, I'll never know.