Friday, January 04, 2008

Two yummy quiches

Quiche is one of those foods that was popular about 20 years ago but seems to have fallen out of vogue. Well, I still love quiche. When I have friends over for brunch or lunch, particularly in the winter, I often serve quiche. They freeze great, so sometimes I make two at a time and freeze one. (In this photo, a Quiche Lorraine is in front and a Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche is in back.)

Yesterday I made Quiche Lorraine for a friend. I had a lot of the ingredients (heavy cream, whole milk, Swiss cheese) left over from my holiday cooking, so I used them up. But since I'm on my healthy new year's kick, I lightened it up by using turkey bacon. Every little bit counts, right?

I think making a pie crust is a pain, and the refrigerated Pillsbury crusts are pretty good, so that's what I usually use. I know that's not what "real" cooks do. So sue me.

Quiche Lorraine
(Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, September/October 1997)

1 9-inch pie shell (homemade or Pillsbury)
8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices)
2 large eggs, plus 2 large yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (I used freshly ground black pepper)
Pinch grated nutmeg
4 ounces Gruyere or other Swiss cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

If you are using homemade pie crust, bake partially as your recipe directs. For the Pillsbury crust, thaw 15 minutes, press into pie plate as directed on the box, then freeze for 20 minutes. (If you don't have time for the freezing, it will still work out ok. The crust may shrink more when prebaking, so you won’t be able to use all of the egg mixture.)

Adjust oven rack to the center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Press a square of aluminum foil into the pie shell; evenly distribute 1 cup or 12 ounces of ceramic pie weights over foil (you can also use dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. (Be careful not to touch the pie weights until they are cool. Trust me on this one.)

While the crust is baking, cook bacon as desired. (I cook regular bacon in the microwave, about 1 minute per slice. Turkey bacon needs to be cooked in a frying pan). Cool slightly and cut or rip it into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Distribute cheese and bacon evenly over the bottom of the warm pie crust. Pour in egg mixture to about 1/2 inch below top of crust (you may not use every bit of it). Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack to cool, at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

To freeze, cook as directed, cool, cover with two layers of foil, and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator, then heat to serve.

This makes one quiche. The original recipe says it serves 8. With me and my friends, it serves four.

For Leek and Goat Cheese Quiche: Saute white parts of 2 medium leeks, washed thoroughly and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups) in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter until soft, 5-7 minutes. Follow recipe for Quiche Lorraine, but reduce milk and cream to 3/4 cup each. Omit bacon; add sauteed leeks instead. Use 4 ounces mild goat cheese, crumbled, instead of Gruyere or Swiss.

5 comments:

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Quiches are oldies but goodies. I'm with you on that one. They're so easy and versatile, aren't they? I also love frittatas which I make even more often just because I grew up making them.

Emiline said...

I did the same thing last night! Well, it was a crustless quiche. (Frittata?) I threw in leftover cheese, vegetables, some herbs, and topped it with chopped Prosciutto.

Your quiche(s) look great. I like quiche, but I guess that's because my mom's been making it my whole life.

Deborah said...

I'm a quiche lover! I was actually thinking of making the Cook's Illustrated Quiche Lorraine after a commenter told me that it is really good! Both of yours look wonderful.

Tracy said...

Susan, Emiline & Deborah,
I thought I was unusual in liking quiche. I guess not!

Deborah, the Cooks Illustrated recipe is very good but of course they direct you to make your own crust!

Elisabeth said...

Hi Tracy! Just checking out your blog for the first time - it's great! I love reading about your band :). That Quiche Lorraine looks WONDERFUL - I'm bookmarking it to try.

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