Sunday, January 13, 2019

My Homemade Quiche

hot pads | IKEA c. 2015
knife | Chicago Cutlery c. 1984
baking dish | Crate & Barrel c. 1982
my mother-in-law's legendary spatula | c. 1960
quiche lorraine | last night

Back in the days of the dinosaurs, when my husband and I were dating, we quite decadently made a habit of eating out on Friday and Saturday nights. But Sundays were set aside for home cooking and we often made quiche.

I know. Real men don't eat quiche. 

Or so the saying went at the time.

But eggs, bacon, Swiss cheese, onions and mushrooms have never threatened my husband's masculinity so this dish has stood the test of time for us.

For practical reasons, I rarely served quiche as a family meal during my daughters' growing up years. One quiche is not enough to serve a hungry party of six, and I was not about to wrangle two pie crusts into existence for a single dinner. And honestly, my kids never really took to quiche all that well anyway.

My authentic 1982 Crate & Barrel quiche plate spent quite a few years pushed to the back of the baking cupboard. 

But these days, when my husband and I are having a rare Sunday evening dinner alone, such as we did yesterday, I bust out my rolling pin and egg beater, and whip us up an old school quiche.

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Our favorite recipe comes straight from the pages of  The New York Times Cookbook. Penned by the urbane Craig Claiborne, renowned food editor and restaurant critic of the Tines for decades, this cookbook was all the rage among us yuppie foodies back in the day and we used ours as a go-to for years. 

Despite my usual cooking style of elaboration and substitution, I have always prepared this recipe exactly as written with zero regrets. Mr. Claiborne set down a sure-fire winner with his Quiche Lorraine and I present his grand creation here just as he wrote it so many years ago.. 

  • Ingredients:
  • + For pastry to line one nine-inch pie:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • Tabasco sauce to taste

  • + For custard:
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Gruyere or Swiss cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups heavy cream or 1 cup each milk and cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Directions:
    1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    2. 2. Line a nine-inch pie plate with the pastry. By all means build a rim with the pastry and flute it. This is essential for the amount of custard indicated in this recipe.
    3. 3. Cover the bottom of the pastry with a round of parchment paper and add enough dried beans or peas to partly fill the shell. Bake 10 minutes.
    4. 4. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees. Remove and discard the beans and parchment paper and set the pastry-lined pie plate aside.
    5. 5. Cook the bacon until crisp and remove it from skillet. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the fat remaining in the skillet. Cook the onion in the remaining fat until the onion is transparent.
    6. 6. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle the bacon, onion and cheeses over the inside of the partly baked pastry.
    7. 7. Combine the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste. Strain the mixture over the onion-cheese mixture. Slide the pie onto a baking sheet.
    8. 8. Bake the pie until a knife inserted one inch from the pastry edge comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack. Let stand five or 10 minutes before serving. 

Served with a simple salad and fresh fruit, my homemade quiche satisfies both the stomach and the soul.

And as far as I can tell, it has not yet turned my husband into a sissy. 

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Ready for more stories about my most dearly beloved, tried-and-true homemade meals?

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