"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." ~ Mother Teresa
|Maddie and I party—literally—like it's 1999.|
I hosted a Winter Solstice luncheon for friends and colleagues.
|On a recent Sunday, I prepared individual quiches for brunch.|
On a more practical note, quiche is great for brunch because the pie dough can be prepared the day before. The next morning, all that is left to do is add the filling to the prepared crust and pop it in the oven. Side dishes are made while the quiche is turning puffy and golden while baking. Quiche feels like a celebration dish, even if at its heart, it's a humble pie.
|My Winter Solstice Luncheon Menu from 1999 that was posted on the refrigerator.|
For the official record, the name of each guest was handwritten on the reverse side.
The following recipe gives you a formula to follow to create your own quiche masterpieces. If you are interested in making individual quiches, I had to search wide and far before finding the small springform pans at Sur La Table. If I had to do it over again, I would buy cheesecake pans with removable bottoms. They look easier to handle (when removing the quiches) and clean.
For the real men in your lives, my husband suggested that quiche would benefit by a rebranding campaign. "Wimpy" Quiche Lorraine could transform into Lumberjack Pie. Any "real" man would want that heartiness personified when eggs are enriched with bacon, cream and Gruyère. Wait, you better say cheese instead. Gruyère sounds like it could be a girly cheese, ya know?
For one 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch Pie
1 recipe All Butter Pie Crust or Gluten-Free All Butter Pie Crust, or commercially prepared pie crust
1 egg lightly beaten
1-3/4 cups half and half, or cream (do not use low-fat milk)
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few grinds freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of ground nutmeg
|Absolutely Delicious All Butter Gluten-Free Gum-Free Pie Crust is easy to work with.|
Protein: Diced cooked ham, diced cooked bacon, crumbled cooked sausage, slivered Genoa salami
Cheeses: shredded white cheddar, crumbled chèvre (goat cheese), Gorgonzola, Gruyère, Monterey Jack
Vegetables: roasted and chopped Hatch chiles, most vegetables should be sautéed or roasted (and cooled) before adding to the quiche, this includes aromatics such as shallots, garlic, leeks and onions
Fresh Herbs: basil pesto (add to the custard mix, if using), minced dill, minced parsley, crumbled thyme, lemon zest
If you happen to be using a lot of cooked vegetables, that might expend even more water while being baked, such as zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, red bell peppers, mushrooms, you can add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the custard mix to ensure thickening while baking.
buttered French or sourdough bread crumbs (or Gluten-Free, such a Glutino brand)
1. Prepare All Butter Pie Crust or Gluten-Free Gum-Free All-Butter Pie Crust one or two days ahead up to the point the dough is rolled out, placed in the pie pan, edges crimped, and crust docked. Cover and refrigerate until ready to blind bake the crust (at least one day ahead).
2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove the cold crust from the refrigerator and immediately line with foil, the shiny side down and fill with your preferred choice of pie weights (I use dried beans that I keep and reuse as needed). Bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and pie weights and bake for another 5 minutes. Brush the crust with the beaten egg white, and bake another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set it aside to cool. You can placed the pie on a cookie sheet, if you like, for easier transfer between counter and oven.
3. Lightly whisk the eggs and then add the cream, then stir in the sea salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
4. Cover the pie crust with protein and shredded or crumbled cheeses. Sprinkle on vegetables and fresh herbs, if using. Pour the custard into the prepared crust. The custard should be level with the bottom of the crimped edge. Sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and 1 to 2 tablespoons of buttered breadcrumbs, if desired.
5. Bake until puffed and golden and the filling is set, about 25 to 35 minutes, depending upon your oven. Once removed from the oven, I let the Quiche cool on a rack for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.