So, Mark Bittman is a genius. I ❤ him. I mean, he wrote a cookbook called How to Cook Everything. (I desperately want the follow-up, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.) How could I not love this man? Anyway, thanks to that book, I have now perfected my quiche-making technique. And because it is so delicious, I am going to share my master recipe with you.
Quiche: a method
1 regular (not deep dish) 9″ single pie crust, unbaked, chilled (homemade or commercial — I used a crust made locally at our little grocery store, because I am
lazy a busy mom with an almost-11-month-old)
Approximately 2 cups of savory filling(s) of your choice — enough to fill your pie crust about halfway — I recommend that at least 1/4 to 1/2 of the filling be crumbled or grated cheese… using all cheese is yummy too
1 cup milk or cream, gently heated until warm
Salt and/or seasonings to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Line it with tinfoil and weight the bottom with a pile of dried beans, rice (these can be reused for this same purpose), or other weights that will sit flat on the surface. (I lust after this pie weight chain from Lee Valley.) Bake 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the weight and foil; turn the oven to 350F. (Note: My gas oven seems to run a little cool. Bittman recommends 325F but my quiches always took forever at that temperature. If you have a slow oven like mine, you can even put the crust in while the oven is preheating. If your oven runs hot, though, you should probably go with 325F for the final baking.)
2. (This step is optional, depending on your filling.) Saute any cold/uncooked meat and/or aromatics/vegetables you might be using in a bit of oil or butter until nicely coloured and cooked through. For this particular pie, I used a minced shallot, some diced leftover deli-style turkey, a bit of very firm chopped leftover roast squash (odd, I know, but delicious!), and half a zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced. Some traditional fillings (alone or combined) include but are not limited to onions (Bittman suggests caramelizing them, which I think would be brilliant), leeks, crisp bacon, ham, broccoli, tuna, and spinach.
3. Combine eggs, milk or cream, and seasonings, and beat until well blended. I used about a tablespoon of pesto, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste are just fine if you don’t want to get fancy, but you can throw in any fresh or dried herbs you think would work: dill with tuna, oregano with feta and spinach, etc. etc.
4. Place your fillings in the partially-baked pie crust. Don’t forget the cheese!! I used some crumbled goat cheese curds and grated Balderson extra-old cheddar (man that stuff is good). I also threw in a couple minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Artichoke hearts or roasted red peppers would also work nicely as accents here. Pour the seasoned milk/cream-egg mixture over top.
5. Bake the quiche 30 to 40 minutes, until the mixture is set but is still moist; it should still jiggle just a little in the middle. (Bittman recommends placing it on a baking sheet first, but in my oven I found I had to double the baking time, while it came out perfect when I omitted that step.) Cool on a rack and serve warm or at room temperature. (I ate it while it was still hot because I was starving, and it was delicious!)
P.S. Happy birthday dad. I’ll be thinking about you.