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What Is Quiche?
Though the word ‘quiche’ is said to derive from ‘kuchen,’ the German word for cake, a quiche is a timeless savory egg custard most often associated with French cuisine. Quiche is made of eggs, an indulgent amount of dairy, and any number of filling combinations, from ham and cheddar cheese to garlicky mushrooms and spinach—all nestled in a basic pastry crust.
Two Things to Remember When Baking Quiche
The secret to quiche’s lasting charm is its simplicity. Done right, it’s a showstopper you can throw together without much thought, as long as you remember two things:
- Your eggs-to-dairy ratio
- The importance of a blind-baked crust
Done wrong, well, we’ve all been there.
What Is the Best Eggs-to-Dairy Ratio for Quiche?
The ratio maintains your custard’s consistency. A good quiche custard typically features: 1 large egg to 1/2 cups of dairy.
The dairy can be any combination of milk and/or half-and-half, for example:
- 1 large egg : ½ cup milk
- 1 large egg : ½ cup half-and-half
- 1 large egg : ¼ cup milk + ¼ cup half-and-half
A standard 9-inch quiche would equal: 3 large eggs : 1 ½ cups of dairy
Too many eggs and your quiche turns stiff and spongy—you want silk, not sponge.
What Is Blind-Baking and Why Is It Important?
Blind-baking is the process of baking a pie shell or crust without the filling. The blind-bake, above all, ensures a crisp crust. When an egg custard hits an unbaked shortcrust dough, the liquid does what you’d expect: it seeps all the way down to the bottom of the pan and ruins all hope of buttery flakes.
How to Blind-Bake a Pie Shell
- Fit your rolled-out dough into a pie pan, gently pressing it into the ridges with your fingers.
- Trim any excess, and seal the edges.
- Line with a sheet of parchment paper, fill with either pie weights or beans, and bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove the weights and parchment, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the bottom of the crust has just begun to brown.
- Let cool completely before adding the custard. If you make ahead, use within three days or freeze.
Easy Quiche Recipe: Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine is a classic quiche, and for good reason: eggs, cream, and bacon (with a handful of cheese for good measure) is as reliable as it gets.
- 1 pie crust (enough to fit a 9-inch pie pan)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 oz bacon, diced
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup grated Gruyère, sharp cheddar, or Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place pie crust in a metal or glass pie plate for the pre-bake, then place it into the oven.
- While your crust blind-bakes, set the bacon in a cold skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6-8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add onions to the rendered fat. Season with salt and pepper, and cook until translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl with the cooked bacon.
- Whisk eggs, milk, cream, and salt in a medium bowl until frothy and well-combined.
- Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese over the bottom of the cooled (blind-baked!) pie crust, then add the bacon and onions in an even layer.
- Pour the egg mixture over the quiche filling, and top with the remaining cheese.
- Bake until the quiche is golden brown all over and the custard is set—you’re looking for a very light wobble, not ripples—about 40 to 50 minutes. If the edges of the crust start getting away from you, pop some tin foil over the singed bits and carry on.
Let cool to room temperature before serving. Top with chives.
4 Ways to Get Creative With Quiche
Just about everything plays nice with quiche, but be mindful of water content when trying out new flavor profiles.
- Summer squash
- Tomatoes (sun-dried or fresh cherry)
- Greens like spinach or arugula
- Roasted asparagus
- Goat cheese
- Fromage blanc
- Country ham
- Italian sausage
- Green onions