Thursday, October 29, 2009

junk swap quiche

Quiche is one of those things for which there are many varieties for both the crust and the filling. And having friends over is a great opportunity to try one. I typically use the recipe from The Best Recipe, a Cooks Illustrated collection of tested recipes. The quiche page from that book is tattered and worn from spilled egg yolks and cream. I was recently looking online at different food blogs, and was not surprised to find that quiche is a popular topic.

The Best Recipe calls for a filling base of 2 large eggs plus two yolks, one cup cream, and one cup milk. I decided that I wanted to use a springform pan in order to get a taller side and deeper quiche, so that it would feed more people. Naturally I would need more filling for that. Other recipes that I've read call for 6 whole eggs, two cups cream, and two cups milk. This seemed more like the amount of base that I was looking for.

Crust recipe:
  • 1 1/4 cup AP flour + 7 tablespoons butter + 1/4 tsp salt
  • pulse in a food processor until butter is encorporated.
  • drizzle in 2-4 tablespoons of ice water
  • run the food processor again until the crust begins to come together into a ball.
Some people are very intimidated about making crust. Trust me. It is not difficult. As in many other things, practice will make all of the difference to know what the correct consistency is at difference points.

After you put the crust into the pan you are using, layer it with parchment and dry beans. I have a ziploc bag of red kidney beans that I use for this purpose. Prebake crust at 375 degrees for up 12-15 minutes. This is when it starts to get exciting. The smell of pate brisee starts to waft through your kitchen and house, and you know you're in line for good eats.

Fillings are only limited by your imagination. There are, of course, the classics. Lorraine, Spinach, mushroom. I was looking for something a little more decadent. Earlier in the morning I carmelized three thinly sliced red onion. But I also thickly grated an aged gouda. I've recently discovered an aged gouda, produced I think by Beemer (I'll have to check on this one). It is strong, like a cross between sharp cheddar, manchego, and parmesan. It's got the lovely granular bit like these other cheeses, with the smooth flavor of a young gouda. It's really fabulous. I added almost two cups of this grated aged gouda, one cup of carmelized red onions, and two teaspoons of fresh thyme into the filling base. I used the ratio of 6 eggs, 2 cups milk, 2 cups cream. To additionally flavor the filling, I added two tablespoons dijon mustard, three or four grates of nutmeg, fine sea salt, and ground pepper (one teaspoon each).

Fill the blind-baked crust and bake for an additional 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven when the center is slightly jiggly. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, or standing in front of the fridge with a fork in hand.

At any rate, this is not a quiche made for trading worn clothes, this is a 24-carat make-your-mouth-dance quiche.

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