A couple years ago I worked for awhile baking in a new small cafe in town. They were still developing their menu and when they added breakfast to the mornings I suggested quiche for the menu. Soon I was making two quiches every morning. I found out just how versatile this little dish is. Most cookbooks only have a basic quiche recipe with one or two variations but certainly the possibilities are endless.
Quiche is basically a savory egg custard pie. It is crust, a custard filling of eggs and cream, cheese and any other tidbits of flavorful goodness you want to throw in. The classic Quiche Lorraine is named for its place of origin, the Lorraine region in France, and has no cheese but bacon bits in the custard.
Quiche is a marvelous breakfast food and certainly appropriate for brunch or lunch too but I find it is nice for a light easy supper, then leftovers can be had for breakfast when one doesn't want to spend lots of time preparing to eat. It's also great when there's not much in the frig but eggs and leftovers. Some of those leftovers can get thrown into the pie!
Every quiche I make has cheese for sure and here are other possibilities:
Meat (pre-cooked): bacon, sausage (any kind), diced ham, or smoked salmon.
Veggies: sauteed onions, peppers, leeks, tomatoes, scallions, artichokes, broccoli, carmelized onions, spinach.
Also: diced cooked potato, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs.
Here's how easy it is to make a quiche. As are most of my recipes, this is more a technique than a recipe. I'll make two since I want plenty of leftovers for breakfast and lunch.
Most vegetables for the quiche should be precooked and not raw. I would take exception for something like scallion greens but otherwise you don't want your quiche to be crunchy, so precook. So with a little olive oil in a hot skillet....
..I'll saute some chopped onion and fresh baby spinach. I do them together because I am too lazy to cook them one at a time.
After cooling about five minutes I throw that into my prepared pie dish. This is a spelt flour crust. For a pie crust recipe and tutorial check out my pie crust post. Some recipes call for pre-baking the pie crust. I don't because, like I said, I'm lazy. And because I haven't had any problem with doughy or soggy pie crust.
Let's try another kind of quiche...
Now it's time to clean out the refrigerator! I found a bit of leftover roasted potato, some cooked Italian sausage and few artichokes left from Sunday night pizza.
...while the rest of the sausage (we are meat lovers around here) and the artichoke went in with the spinach. I tried to distribute everything evenly in the pie dish.
And let's not forget cheese! Just about any variety will do but I like the more flavorful ones for quiche. Feta cheese went with the spinach and pepper jack cheese in the potato/pepper quiche.
Notice until now I haven't given any measurements. Like I said, this is a technique and not a recipe. At this point you want your elements to only fill the dish one half to two thirds so that there is room for the custard. The amounts of each will depend on how few or many vegetables and meats you add.
For a nine inch deep dish pie pan I use five or six eggs. A smaller, shallower dish may only use four.
Beat the eggs with a fork in a two cup measuring cup.
Then add half and half or cream to make two cups of liquid.
To this I add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, some pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Here again though, anything goes. If I hadn't been so lazy I would have run outside to my raised bed and found some languishing thyme and thrown that in the potato quiche. Why didn't I do that?
Pour this mixture over the veggies and cheese in the pie dish.
...then with a fork carefully give it a stir to get the eggs and other ingredients to exchange places a bit.
Repeat for the other quiche: six eggs, half and half, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes...
...then give it a little jostling with a fork.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes until the custard is set and the pies are slightly golden.
Don't be alarmed if the quiche is puffed up when it comes out of the oven. Eggs do that. Just give it a few minutes and it will calm down.
I have to be honest here though...I would have liked this to be more custardy so next time I'll replace one egg with more cream. The filling will be softer and less puffy.
Potato, sausage, onion and sweet pepper quiche. But bacon would have been great with the potato. Or ham!
Spinach and artichoke went well together. Another favorite is artichoke with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. And don't forget cheese! Ooooo....yum!