Traditional French Quiche
Whether a simple Sunday brunch or a upscale event this show-stopping quiche will have you covered (not only in butter but compliments too).
It is not a secret that the key the French cooking is BUTTER. Quiche, being one of the most delectable French dishes, is no exception. The secret to this dish is the homemade crust. It is the foundation of the dish. I'll give you my trick to knock-out a homemade crust worthy of Julia Child in less time than it takes you to defrost the frozen one from the store.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Ingredients for Crust
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 butter ( cold, unsalted)
1/4-1/2 tsb salt (to taste)
2-3 tb water
The most difficult part of making a crust is getting the cold butter to mix with the flour evenly. Cold butter is very difficult to mix in without resorting to using your fingers to literally press it in small batches of the flour. It can become a mess in seconds. Here is the secret: use a high power food processor or blender (I use my Blendtec). Simply add all ingredients (other than water) and blend. The blades cut up the butter and help it distribute easily into the flour. Then slowly add the water until the dough is formed pushing the dough in from the sides so it mixes evenly. You may have to take the dough out and give it a few turns with your hands but the hard part is done! Perfect dough. Every time. In less than 5 minutes. Then simply roll it out and place in tart, pie, or pastry dish. It is seriously that easy. If I am making something that bakes for a long time (quiche/chicken pot pie) I stick the dough in the freezer while I prepare the other ingredients.
Ingredients for Quiche Filling
3-4 eggs (depending on size)
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/2-3/4 cups whole milk (depending on egg size)
1/4-1/2 yellow onion (I like a lot of onion)
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
Nutmeg (sprinkle on top)
1-2 tb butter
4-6 stripes of cooked ham or bacon (for Quiche Lorraine)
Chopped vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, etc)
Cheese (traditional Gruyere cheese but chef's choice!)
I like the taste of caramelized onions. It adds a smoky sweetness to the dish rounding out the richness and adding an amazing depth of flavor without overwhelming the palate. Chop the onions finely and sweat them in butter or olive oil (can also use clarified butter or ghee as it has a higher burning temperature than olive oil or butter).
Combine eggs, half-and-half, milk. I like to add eggs and half-and-and first and mix. Then I slowly add the milk to see the texture and color I am looking for. Too much milk can weigh down the eggs. You want the quiche to be a pale yellow and have a syrup like texture.
After thoroughly mixing eggs with milk and half-and-half add in salt, pepper, cayenne (or paprika whatever you have on hand- just adds a bit of kick to a rich dish).
Slowly add in onions and other ingredients (chopped bacon, grated cheese, chopped vegetables, chef's choice).
In a quiche pan (this has ribbon edges and isn't as deep as a pie dish. Do NOT use a tart pan as the bottom is removable on these so you can easily remove the tart...but the eggs will soak right through while cooking and you will have a mess! You can use a pie dish in a pinch it will just be a little deeper quiche) with the crust added pour the egg mixture and ensure it is even distributed.
Sprinkle nutmeg over top (this may seem odd flavor-wise but it works and is in almost every quiche recipe. Don't over do it, but do it). Cut 1-2 tablespoons of butter and place in a circle on top of eggs. As the butter melts it makes a creamy texture for the top and the butter browns slightly to give amazing flavor and texture.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. The cooking time depends on your oven and the depth of your pan (deeper pans will take a bit longer). If the quiche bubbles up don't worry it will reduce as the hot air leaves during the cooling process.
If you do not want to serve in the dish, butter the pan and sprinkle a light layer of flour, including in the ribbon area, before adding the crust. Let the quiche cool and it should pop right out.
Cool 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy :)