Fine Cooking Magazine recently ran a "Create Your Own Recipe" feature for how to make quiche. As they've done with braises and stir-fries, they focus on the basic elements of a dish, then suggest all sorts of ways to inject your own creativity to come up with an original taste. We took their basic crust and custard recipes and added veggies and cheese to our liking. The result….quite delicious.
For me, the ultimate quiche is still Thomas Keller's as shared in his Bouchon Cookbook. We've cooked it here, and if you have the time and patience, I dare say you cannot make a better quiche than his quiche lorraine. If however, you are not looking for a multi-day project but still want a luxuriantly creamy and satisfying quiche, this recipe will make you happy-happy.
In the "create your own" spirit of the article, I encourage you to do the same and switch up this recipe in any way that strikes your fancy. The crust and basic custard recipes are awesome as-is, but feel free to add different veggies, herbs, cheeses, or meats as you like. A few guidelines to keep in mind though; veggies should be pre-cooked to soften and remove any excess moisture before adding to the custard, the same applies to meats. Also, you'll want to use a fixed-bottom metal quiche pan (not one with a removable bottom), or a glass or ceramic quiche or pie plate for baking.
Because even though you blind bake the crust, there is an excellent chance that it will spring a leak when filled with the liquid custard, and if you use a false-bottom pan it will leak out everywhere and make a real mess of your oven. Finally, fight the urge to add more than a cup of cheese (regardless of type), as 1 cup of cream, 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of cheese make this treat plenty rich as-is. Bon appetit!
Cheers – Steve
for the crust:
- 4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 9 pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons cold milk
for the filling:
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
- florets from 1 head of broccoli, roasted
- 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
- 1 cup freshly grated gruyère or swiss cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for the dough:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the flour is no longer bright white, the dough holds together when you press a clump with your fingers, and there are still flakes of butter the size of pecan halves throughout, about 1 minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk the yolk and milk, then add it all at once to the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough barely comes together, 15 to 30 seconds. The dough will look shaggy at this point.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and gather it into a mound. Starting at the top of the mound and using the heel of your hand, smear a section of the dough away from you, sliding down the side and along the work surface until most of the butter pieces are smeared into the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough in sections. The French have a term for this smearing routine, it's called "fraisage", and makes for a nice flaky crust.
- With a bench knife, gather the dough together, flatten it into a disk about 1 inch thick, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 days.
to shape and bake the crust:
- On a well floured work surface, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12 inch wide, 1/8 inch thick circle. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over a 9-10 inch quiche dish, or a 9 to 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Without stretching it, press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the dish. Use scissors or a paring knife to trim the dough, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang.
- If using a quiche dish, fold the overhang into the dish and press the side up to create an edge that's about 1/4 inch above the rim of the dish. If using a pie plate, fold the overhand under itself and flatten it slightly to completely cover the rim of the pie plate.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the dough to relax before baking.
- Position the rack in the center of the oven, put a large rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 350℉.
- Crumple a 12 inch square piece of parchment, flatten it, then line the pie crust with it. Fill the crust to the top with pie weights or dried beans, gently pressing them against the sides. bake on the hot baking sheet until the edge is a deep golden-brown and the bottom no longer looks raw, 40-45 minutes. protect the edge with a pie shield or ring of foil if it's getting too dark. remove the parchment and beans and cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
for the filling:
- While the crust cools, prepare the filling. Set the oven temperature to 425℉. Toss the broccoli florets in a large bowl with a glug of EVOO and some salt and pepper to taste. Spread onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 20 minutes to roast, until the edges of the florets are just slightly charred. Set aside.
- Reset the oven temperature to 325℉.
- Whisk the egg yolks, cream, milk, nutmeg, and some salt and pepper in a medium bowl to make the custard. Add the minced tarragon.
to finish the quiche:
- When the crust has cooled, sprinkle the grated gruyère over the bottom, then top with the diced red pepper and broccoli florets. Place the quiche dish on a baking sheet, then pour the prepared custard gently over the other ingredients, so as not to disturb them too much.
- Place the quiche in the oven to bake until the custard feels set to the touch in the center, 45-55 minutes. It should be golden brown and slightly puffed, and should not slosh when you jiggle it.
- Let cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes, then slice and serve warm or at room temperature. Or, for the best looking slices, cool the quiche completely, then refrigerate, slice when cold and reheat in a 350℉ oven until warmed through.