Friday, December 7, 2007

Quiche a la Julia Child

In matters of eggs and custard-y things, I defer to Julia Child. I don't even try to mess around.
Ok, that's not true.

I defer to Julia Child on egg-to-milk proportions. But I do mess around with everything else.

For instance, I don't think Julia Child would ever tell you to use a storebought crust, but seriously, if I have to make the crust, I'd rather just not make quiche. I tried making it without the crust, but Neil revolted. And I don't like making crusts because it adds a good 40 minutes to prep time, and why do that, I say, when crusts are on sale at the grocery store for $1.50 a pair?
So buy a crust.
And these too:
3 "large" eggs
Cream (says Julia)/Milk (says I)
Meat (crispy bacon, sliced ham, turkey, etc.)
Cheese (Swiss is sort of the accepted quiche cheese because of its propensity to not make everything really wet, but Neil likes the taste of Cheddar better)
Parsley, oregano, basil, chives
Other things in the fridge that need to be eaten (last time I grated in some carrots)
**If you want spinach quiche, blend in 1 c. cooked spinach into the custard.

Ok, so I just realized that the Julia Child version only calls for eggs, cream, bacon, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, so this really isn't quiche according to Julia Child, it's messed-up-Julia-based-quiche. But I still think it's good.

Here's what's important when making quiche:
"Any quiche can be made with either heavy or light cream or with milk. The proportions are always 1 egg in a measuring cup plus milk or cream to the 1/2 cup level; 2 eggs and milk or cream to the 1-cup level; 3 eggs and milk or cream to the 1 1/2 cup level; and so forth."
--Julia Child

I prefer to use milk because a) cream is expensive and b) cream is fattening. I'm sure it tastes delicious, however, but I'll go on in my skim-milk ignorance, so please don't tell me if you use cream and it's just out of this world.

Ok, the actual makings:

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 450.

Step 2:
Arrange pie crust in dish, put in either pie weights or dried beans/rice to prevent crust from puffing up (a Julia trick), and bake for 10-15 minutes. The crust should be set but still soft. now turn your oven down to 375.

Step 3:
Grate your cheese, slice your onions, and cut up your meat things. Put in however much you feel like putting in. I usually put in half to three-quarters of an onion, a couple of ounces of chopped meat, and enough grated cheese so that it covers the onion and meat but doesn't obscure them completely from sight. I think the Julia rule is 2 T. (which doesn't seem like much. I definitely do more). Dump all your cut-up things into the bottom of the shell.

Step 4:
Mix up your custard. I usually go for the 3 eggs variant and then end up adding another egg and another slog of milk. It depends on how big your pie dish is and how much "good stuff" you already put in. I then add about a teaspoon each of parsley, basil, chives, and oregano, with about a half teaspoon of salt and a couple grinds of pepper.

Step 5:
Pour the custard over the yummy things already in the pie crust.

Step 6:
Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. The quiche is done when it's puffed up and brown (it should not jiggle wildly when you take it out of the oven. That is egg soup and it's nasty, so put it back in the oven until it turns into quiche.)

We like to eat our quiche warm or cold as either breakfast or lunch, depending on how early I got up that day to make it. Yum.


Meghan said...

The nice thing about buying the crusts is that they come in pairs, so you can make two quiches, or find something else to do with the extra crust (I notice a pumpkin pie in the picture). Of course, you could just put the extra one back in the freezer for next time, but what's the fun in that?
I notice you don't specify what kind of onions; I prefer green onions, since they don't give off as much moisture (much like the swiss/cheddar decision) and so the crust doesn't get soggy after it sits. I also like their flavor and the color they add.
This looks wonderful--I may have to head to the store for bacon today (I have pepperoni, but I don't want to get too creative)

Rachael said...

That's true--you really are supposed to use green onions, but I never seem to have them on hand.

Mary said...

I forgot the milk the last time I made quiche, and while there was noticeably less filling, the taste and texture weren't adversely affected. So, um... Quiche is remarkably forgiving!

I like to use chopped ham, because bacon tends to be rather salty. I also like chopped fresh spinach, but that's just because defrosting and cooking and straining and chopping frozen spinach seems like kind of a pain.

Also, while Julia Child can talk about making crusts, I've found that my quiche crusts invariably get slightly soggy anyway, so the "flakiness" factor of made vs. bought crusts is moot anyway. Go for the easiness factor, I say!

nicki said...

I wholeheartedly agree! Homemade crusts are overratted. WAY overrated.

Crapos said...

We made this for dinner tonight. Yum! Thank you!!!