I love quiche, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I don’t care if it’s a cliche. I do not care that it’s a 70′s punchline, a cardiologist’s nightmare, or a punster’s dream (see my title).
It has been my pal in the kitchen and on the plate for a long time. One of my earliest efforts was a bizarre “St. Patrick’s Day” quiche for my grandfather – Romanian Jewish, but whatever – who gamely ate it, even slightly runny and curiously green food coloring-enhanced.
When I was newly pregnant and baking at a Chicago cafe in 1995, I developed a desperate need for smoked turkey, broccoli and cheddar quiche – and instructed the staff to make it for me every single day. That’s a lot of quiche.
Out of vogue and definitely out of shape, quiche should have disappeared by now – but it stubbornly hangs on, bless its cheesy self. It is so richly beckoning and seductively good. Give it to yourself once a year – the other 364 days are mine.
Josie demonstrates her knife safety skills. Look at that young pro – both thumbs intact!
Make your favorite pie dough or use a store-bought version. Extra fat = extra flaky.
Switching hats, Josie doubles as an action food photographer. Nice one!
I am not thinking about quiche. I am thinking “my hands are starting to look like Grandma’s.”
A blurry mise-en-place: crimped and ready crust, egg-and-cream mixture, cooked bacon.
O cheese; light of my life, dream of my palate, scourge of my stomach.
Place the unfilled quiche on a sheet pan, then assemble the cheese and bacon in a pleasing modern design of your choosing. Start to pour the egg mixture over the top…
…then slap your head and say, “god, Marilyn, how long have you been doing this?” The best way to do this is to put the pan in the oven first and then pour the egg mixture over the top, as seen above.
This prevents having to move a very full, spill-prone unbaked quiche to the oven. Trust me.
It goes fast. Somehow, quiche is even more decadent the next day, eaten cold, straight from the pan and standing up in the kitchen. Don’t tell my doctor. Or my daughter.
Here’s a nice fuzzy shot of quiche with its soul mate, French Onion Soup. Fuzzy is how you feel after eating this. As in you will feel fuzzy, and delicious, and then unconscious.
This classic recipe is from Jane and Michael Stern’s wonderful 1991 book American Gourmet. One of my all-time, most dog-eared favorites, it celebrates the luxe “gourmet-ing” of America in the 50′s and 60′s, especially “swank company food” like the then-exotic Quiche Lorraine.
With no bending to skim milk or plasticky low-cal Swiss, here is the real thing. Pop a Lipitor and hope for the best.
Dough for one 9″ one-crust pie
6 thick slices bacon, cooked
5 oz. swiss cheese – gruyere or jarlsberg, cut into slices approx. same size as the bacon
1 tbsp flour
generous dash of nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of cayenne
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
Line a 9-inch pie plate with dough. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Fry the bacon (or use pre-cooked) until it is cooked but not crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Layer the bacon and cheese in a crosshatch pattern on the pie dough.
Beat together the eggs, flour, nutmeg, salt and cayenne. Gradually beat in the cream and, finally, the melted butter. Beat well and strain the mixture over the bacon and cheese in the pie crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top nicely browned. Serve slightly warm.