Well, I should clarify… this is not a new obsession of mine, I’ve loved quiche since I was a kid, but I’ve recently started making my own on a very regular basis. The most famous variation of quiche, Quiche Lorraine, is at the heart of the history of this dish. While known today as a french dish, quiche was originally born in the Lothringen region of Germany, which was later renamed Lorraine by the French.
My mom used to buy those frozen quiches from Trader Joe’s when we were kids. They were the perfect size for an after school snack and easy to heat up in the microwave. And they were oh so delicious. My love of quiche was solidified in the spring of 1996 on a trip to France with my parents. We were traveling all throughout Paris, Tour and the Loire Valley, and since we were on the road and indulging in heavy dinners each night, we packed a light picnic each morning for lunch. After breakfast we’d stop into the patisserie, fromagerie and boulangerie and pick out our faire for the day, and every time, without fail, I would choose a quiche and fruit tart for myself.
Quiche is really a wonder food, good for any time of the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong with a quiche. And they’re so easy to make and to personalize. Once you get the basics down, it’s easy to create different variations to your own liking. In the past few weeks I’ve made broccoli, chili & cheese and mushroom & spinach quiches. I bake one on Sunday and then I have a quick a easy lunch to take with me to work for the rest of the week. A little frisee salad on the side and I’m in business. All you need is a simple pie crust, eggs and cream (plus, if you want to make it really easy, use store bought pie crust). Here’s the recipe for my favorite of the three I’ve made so far:
Chili Cheese Quiche
1 large poblano pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
1 cup heavy cream (you can substitute whole milk or half & half here, but it’s really not the same)
Pie dough (you can also use a store-bought dough)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lightly flour tart or pie pan, and gently press in pie dough, trimming or crimping the edges as needed.
- Place pie weights on top of dough, to avoid the crust shrinking during pre-baking. (In lieu of pie weights, I layer a piece of parchment paper and pour in rice or dry beans. I mean, who has pie weights?)
- Bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on oven.
- Remove weights and lightly prick surface of dough with the tongs of a fork, to allow steam to escape.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes, until just before crust starts to brown.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream.
- Layer poblanos and 1 cup of cheese into crust (reserving 1/2 cup cheese).
- Pour in egg mixture and sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
For everyday cooking, especially something like quiche, where the filling is the star of the show, I use a store-bought dough. So far, Trader Joe’s has been my go-to (mainly because that’s where I do most of my shopping), but Whole Foods has their own version, and you can pick up rolled, refrigerated dough in any major grocery store. That would be my only caveat, in fact, to using a pre-made dough – go with the rolled and refrigerated doughs, don’t use the ones that come already pressed into a pan and frozen. Those tend to taste like cardboard.
When it comes to holidays, or special occasions, however, there’s no substitute for making your own dough. The recipe is pretty basic, but there are tons of variations out there, and everyone has their favorites, so here’s a round up:
- Martha Stewart’s Basic Pie Dough – this is almost identical to the recipe I typically use.
- Simply Recipes’ Perfect Pie Crust – and she includes instructions on substituting with almond flour and pre-baking.
- Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 101 and Pie Crust 102 tutorials.
- Whole Wheat Pie Dough from Andrea’s Recipes.
Got a great pie dough recipe of your own? A favorite quiche combination? Do share!
Until next time!