Thursday, July 27, 2023


Let's talk about Quiche: The success ratio for quiche is  1 part egg to 2 parts dairy, by weight. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and 1/2 cup of dairy (whole milk) is four ounces, therefore a handy 1:2 ratio. The dairy should be whole milk or cream or a combination -- my faovrite off the shelf dairy for quiche is half-and-half.  If you're using whole milk, that's all good too. The number of eggs and volume of cream you'll need vary depending on the overall volume of the dish you're baking in. I like a deep dish quiche, so I use a ramekin, but it's fine to use the standard pie plate. Whatever you're using, fill it with water to the place where you'd like your quiche level to be, then pour that into a large measuring vessel to get a good idea of how many eggs and how much cream you'll need. A standard 9" pie pan usually needs 3 eggs and 1.5 cups of dairy; deep dish can take up to twice that, which is lovely if you're swimming in eggs as I sometimes am. 

If you use a crust for your quiche, you'll want to par bake it (baking it almost fully) befor adding the custard mix so that the crust doesn't get soggy during baking. I frequently skip the crust, which makes people call this a frittata, but okay, it's not. If you're trying to cut carbs or need to be gluten free, skip the crust. If you have extra time and don't mind, by all means make a crust  The buttery flaky goodness really shows off the eggs and is a perfect blend of flavors. Whatever you choose, make sure your crust comes high enough to hold the quiche, preferably over the edge of the baking dish. I like to keep a couple crusts in the freezer for deep dish pie plate quiche, but if you're going with a ramekin, the easiest thing to do is usually to make the crust and then press it into the (pre-greased) ramekin after rolling it out. Baking a crust is pretty forgiving, and is an ideal activity for a warming oven. Once it gets to 325, pop the dish-with-crust into the oven and let it do its thing for about 20-30 (first twenty minutes with pie weights / beans to keep its shape) minutes or until browned.

For fillings, you can choose literally anything, and this makes quiche the perfect companion to seasonal cooking. Whatever vegetables and cheese you have on hand, especially the ones that are on their absolute last day for useability, are exactly the ones you need for quiche.  Leftover meats are great too as long as they are already cooked and drained or dry. Ideal volume of filling is about a cup each of cheese and vegetables (including meats here), but it's not going to wreck anything if you have less (they quiche will simply be more eggy). They key here is to make sure your filling ingredients are dry so that they don't make the quiche watery during baking. Tomatoes are esecially notorious for wrecking a quiche, and can be handled by chopping the tomato in advance and letting the juice drain. They will still impart a little water during baking, so if you use tomatoes, try to pair it with a very dry cheese (like feta). My favorite quiche is the basic custard with gruyere cheese and no vegetables at all, a dash of nutmeg and black pepper whisked into the base. Whatever you're using, layer half the cheese evenly on the crust, then add the vegetables, then add the remaining cheese on top. Pour the egg and dairy mix over the filling. 

For a very deep ramekin, hotter is better -- I like 425-450 -- but for a pie plate, you can go as cool as 350. 

Place the dish on a baking sheet, and bake 40-50 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle jiggles just a a touch. Cover the quiche with tinfoil if you're concerned that the top or crust might burn. Let the quiche rest for 15 more minutes after removing from the oven -- this will finish the cooking proess and set the middle of the quiche. Serve at room temperature or cooler. 

Some classic fillings:
Broccoli & Cheddar
Ham & Smoked Gouda
Spinach & Mushrooms
Swiss Chard & Bacon