A quiche is an egg and dairy pie of sorts. It is an unsweetened savory custard that can be filled with any combination of meats and/or vegetables, eggs, cream or milk and cheese. It can have a crust or no crust. A quiche without a crust is usually called a fritatta.
Most people think of France when they think of quiche, but believe it or not, quiche actually originated in Germany, around the middle ages in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, which the French later occupied and renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake. A quiche Lorraine is specifically made with eggs, cream, bacon and Swiss cheese. Any other type of quiche is just a quiche with a different name.
We eat quiche fairly often, and even though you can fill it with just about anything, more so than not, ham is a major ingredient in the quiches at our house. I think this is more a Larry thing than me though. Whenever I make a ham, we always have a ton of leftovers, and Larry just seems to associate ham with quiche. I like adding chicken or shrimp or crab too, but ham is used quite often at Chez Jeanne.
I like big, fluffy quiches, so I use a lot of eggs. I use 8 eggs and heavy whipping cream, and some kind of a light, white cheese, like Swiss or Mozzarella or Jack. I also bake them in my springform cake pans. Even though the ingredients I use may vary, the basic procedure of how to make them is the same.
I start off my making my crust. I use my basic, go-to crust recipe. It’s light and flaky. and just melts in your mouth.
1 1/2-2 cups flour
6 TBSP cold butter, cubed
1 tsp salt
pepper or lemon pepper or cayenne pepper and/or dried herbs, optional
5-6 TBSP heavy whipping cream.
Pulse the flour, butter and salt (and/or pepper or herbs) in a food processor until it all resembles a fine sand. Then add the egg and the cream and pulse again until it all forms into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.
While the dough is chilling, I make my filling. You can use anything you like in your fillings. This time, I used spinach, 1 shallot, diced fine, mushrooms, garlic and ham. I cut the ham into think strips. My ham was already cooked. I sauteed the spinach, shallot, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil and salt & pepper.
When I was ready to make the quiche, I rolled my dough to fit into the cake pan and pressed it up against the sides.
Preheat the oven to about 375* F or 180* C.
Add a layer of cheese on the bottom of the dough. This time I used mozzarella, but any lighter, white cheese or shredded cheddar is fine.
Spoon the spinach or vegetable mixture on top of the cheese, making sure to drain off the excess liquid.
Add the ham or meat on top of the vegetables.
Make your egg custard. Like I said, I like a lot of eggs in mine, but you don’t have to use as many eggs if you do not want it as fluffy and light. I use 8 eggs, about 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream, salt & pepper to taste, a dash of nutmeg, and sometimes, a dash of cayenne pepper. You can use either white or black pepper. A lot of people choose to use white pepper with eggs, and that is perfectly acceptable. I actually like the more pungent black pepper or cayenne pepper. Sometimes I use white pepper too though. Whisk everything together until it is well blended and creamy. Then carefully pour it over your quiche. Carefully place it in the oven, and bake for about 45-60 minutes, or until the center is set and it does not wiggle or jiggle.
Once the quiche is done, let is set for a few minutes before cutting, then serve it with your favorite side dishes. Quiche is frequently served with either potatoes or a small salad or fruit. This time, we had a light dinner with quiche and the leftover of my patatas bravas. C’est ce bonne!
You can easily make a quiche with the same ingredients time after time, but there is no reason why you can’t mix it up too. Make it how you like it since you are the one eating it. And remember, real men DO eat quiche. 🙂
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.