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January 9, 2009

Alex's All Star Quiche

Even though I haven't been posting, I have done my fair share of baking over the last few weeks. Each time that I've sat down to write though, I get frustrated at how craptastic the photos came out. I don't know what's happened! I am still using the same camera that I always have, but for some reason none of my pictures seem blog worthy and without a good photo, why bother posting at all? Ugh...maybe I just need a new camera.
I think that perhaps my poor photography skills can be an indication of my mood lately. Here in Seattle, we have been plagued with bad weather. First it was the snow, which would melt just enough to turn to the roads into solid ice. During that first freeze, I only got out of the house twice in ten days! Then it started pouring down rain. So much so that several levees broke and caused massive flooding. Just yesterday I was told to go home from work at 2:30pm because there was a chance that a creek behind our building was about to go over its banks. Luckily it didn't and I was able to return to work today with no worries, but all this bad weather and lack of sunshine has just made me a little melancholy.

Melancholy or not, I still have baking to do! Due to the weather the week of Christmas, I wasn't able to make Alex, my friend and fellow foodie, a special birthday treat, so we decided to do it this week instead. He decided that he wanted a quiche. Although I had never made one before, I thought it was an excellent idea. Quiche is one of those things that seems like it should be really difficult, but is really rather simple. Depending on how fancy you want the quiche to be, you probably already have the majority of the ingredients in your kitchen.

The first thing you need is a good pie crust recipe. You can use a store-bought crust (which is what I usually do) or make one from scratch. I decided to go all out and try my hand at a scratch crust -- and I had just the recipe too! Several years ago I worked with a guy named Alan and his wife, whom I never got to meet, was really into making pies. So much so that grew her own cherry trees just so she could have the perfect pie cherries. One day Alan brought me in a little cooler that had two balls of fresh pie dough, a container of pie cherries (already pitted), a small bottle of Grand Marnier, a few pats of butter, a baggy full of sugar and tapioca and two recipes cards for making both the crust and a sweet cherry pie. It was a cherry pie kit! I made it for dessert that night and it was just sublime, especially the crust. It was very light and flaky and had just the right texture which I thought would be perfect for the quiche. I included her recipe below, exactly as it was given to me.

Since I have not been blessed with the ability to flute the edges of a pie crust, I decided to cheat and use a mini star cookie cutter instead (thank you Sonie for my new set!) As for the quiche, I used a basic recipe I found on Epicurious.com but customized it by adding caramelized onions, sautéed crimini mushrooms, and creamy mild goat cheese. You can really add anything you want though to make it your own. If you want to add meat, be sure to cook it and drain it prior to adding it to the quiche. As for other vegetables, you'd follow the same rule I did for the onion and mushroom and sautée or par-boil it until the any hard crunch is gone. This will give the quiche a uniform texture. Also, always be sure to add the vegetables and meats prior to adding the egg custard to ensure even baking. As it bakes, some of the ligher vegetables will float up through the surface of the custard. As for other cheeses, you can either add an even layer to the quiche prior to adding the custard (be careful not to pack it) or you can mix it in with egg mixture if it's shredded. If you decide to use a Swiss type cheese, sprinkle the top of the quiche with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Perfect Pie Crust
Yield: 2 9" pie crust

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 3/4 cup plain shortening
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl combine the sifted flow, salt, and sugar together. Cut the shortening into the flour until small pieces form. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, vinegar, and water and slowly add to the flour/shortening mixture. Divide into two balls, wrap tightly in plastic for at least 2 hours. For pie crust only prick bottom of pie down with a fork and bake 12-15 minutes in a 450 degree oven.

All Star Quiche
Yield: 8 to 10 pieces, depending on how large you cut the pieces
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

One recipe for Perfect Pie Crust or Epicurious's basic pastry
6 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
1/3 cup mild goat cheese (I prefer Chavrie)
1 medium sized onion
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
salt and pepper

Roll out the pastry to fit a 10-1/2 inch glass or metal pie plate (not removable bottom). Crimp the edges, poke the bottom with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, and place the pastry in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and pastry weights (or dry beans) and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the pastry is golden at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the aluminum foil and pastry weights. Return the pastry to the oven to bake until the bottom is golden, an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.

While the pastry is baking, Peel and halve a medium-sized yellow onion. Cut it in quarters then slice the onion paper-thin. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the onions and stir, season lightly with salt, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, uncovered and add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until the onions are very tender and translucent, and just slightly browned at the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Remove them from the heat, and spread over then pre-baked pastry before before adding the custard.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and the milk until thoroughly blended. Season with the salt and pepper and stir until it is blended. Turn the mixture into the pre-baked pastry, and use a teaspoon to evenly drop the goat cheese around the quiche. Bake in the center of the oven until the filling is golden and puffed, and is completely baked through, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche - if it is solid without a pool of uncooked filling in the center, it is done. You may also stick a sharp knife blade into the center of the filling and if it comes out clean, the quiche is baked through. Remove the quiche from the oven and serve immediately or let cook on the counter until you're ready to serve.


  1. I love the star edge! I've never made a quiche before, but I DO have all the ingredients for it! I think I'm gonna try this today, I'm on vacation this week so I have time to mess around !! LOL!! Ok so you can put anything you want in this???!! I could put cheddar cheese in this, bacon and broccoli??

  2. mmmmm. that sounds delicious!! i love a good quiche. and your pie crust sounds lovely!! i love the crust cutters! how cute :)

  3. Hi Bunny! Thank you! You could use any shape really. As for your question about adding bacon and other veggies, sure you can! I updated the post to answer your question --
    You can really add anything you want though to make it your own. If you want to add meat, be sure to cook it and drain it prior to adding it to the quiche. As for other vegetables, you'd follow the same rule I did for the onion and mushroom and sautée or par-boil it until the any hard crunch is gone. This will give the quiche a uniform texture. Also, always be sure to add the vegetables and meats prior to adding the egg custard to ensure even baking.

    Heather - thanks for stopping by! You know, I liked the pie cutters too. It took all the anxiety out of making a pie for me. I just really hate putting so much effort into a pie and for it to look sloppy. I think I'll do this for now on.

  4. I saw you on Ingrid's blog and wanted to say hi! That star edge is immpecable. I'm amazed!

  5. I feel your pain with the bad weather. I hope it doesn't get you too down, because I love reading your posts. This picture looks great, so I'm sure the others are fine.

    The quiche sounds really good, but I would love to try that cherry pie recipe!

  6. Hope you find your groove again!

    With regards to your photos maybe you've outgrown your camera's capabilities? Just a thought!

    Your quiche looks good! It's another one of those dishes I've never tried or made. :-( My list of things I "need to try" just keeps growing!

  7. The Blonde Duck - thank you for stopping by! I too loved how using the cookie cutters made my quiche look more finished!

    Haley - It's funny how blogging and hearing from readers really helps put a spring back in my step. I need to start posting more often. So thank you for your sweet comments -- it really helps! Oh and about that cherry pie recipe, I'll email it to you. :-)

    Ingrid -- you're so sweet, but I think it's me. I have thought about getting a different camera but I'm not convinced yet. I think it's my lighting or something. :-)

  8. Hey Miss Julia, how much vinegar are we talking in that pie crust recipe? Looks like you've got the tablespoon of sugar down twice.. And is that just plain ol' shortening or butter flavored? Thanks hon!

  9. Hi AT! Thank you for finding my vinegar omission in my crust recipe. You were correct; that mysterious second tablespoon of sugar was indeed the correct amount of white vinegar. I really need to stop posting when I tired!

    The shortening is plain. Never, under any circumstances, even if Alton Brown says it's okay, ever use butter flavored shortening. As a matter of fact, when you see it in the store, hold a crucifix or garlic near it just to be safe. It's truly an abomination :b


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