The cooking establishment has, for years, made quiche sound daunting to prepare. There are many jokes out there about you girls finding a man that can cook quiche. Well, she has! So now here is my secret recipe for all to see. It is much the same as the one used on one of my local television appearances on a noon news cooking segment back in 1992 with Fred Wix, The Gabby Gourmet. So guys, learn to cook quiche and the world is your oyster!
I like a 2 piece fluted quiche pan. As you will see, the final presentation is fabulous! Also, I feel it is perfectly acceptable to use a Pillsbury pre-made pie crust. There is much debate out there about baking the crust alone first. I say no. If you do, and you are using the fluted pan, nothing will keep the crust from pulling away from the side. Also, any bubbles will cause leaks with a 2 piece pan. Lastly, the exposed pie crust around the edge will get too brown. Yes, one can protect with a foil ring or an aluminum pie crust ring, but it is just not necessary to pre-bake the crust. Trust me! Additionally, most chefs don’t sauté the vegetables first. I believe that the flavors are greatly enhanced by this “sweating” step. You decide. Here we go.
1. 1 (9 inch) pie crust pastry – room temp
2. Coconut cooking spray
3. 2 tsp olive oil
4. ¾ cup grated Swiss cheese
5. ¾ cup grated mozzarella cheese
6. 1 cup total diced sweet pepper – red, green & yellow
7. ¾ cup diced Bermuda onion
8. 1 clove garlic smashed & fine chopped
9. ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
10. 2 small carrots, diagonally thin sliced
11. ¾ cup milk & ¾ cup cream OR 1½ cups of half and half
12. 5 eggs
13. 1 cup Boar’s Head brand ham either diced or julienned
14. ¼ tsp dried California lemon peel or 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
15. ¼ tsp ground Utah Real Salt
16. Pepper to taste
17. A pinch of ground cloves
Remove a rolled up pie crust from package and allow to warm to room temperature. Preheat oven to 375º and spray fluted pan with cooking spray. In a medium skillet, place olive oil, diced onion and garlic. Gently sauté for 2 minutes to release flavor. Add sliced carrots and soften for 2 additional minutes. Add peppers and mushrooms and cook gently for another 3 minutes. Turn off burner. Dust a counter top with a little flour and roll out the pie crust. Roll out so as to be 1½ inches bigger than the fluted pan.
Gently place the pastry centered into the pan. Carefully use a finger to conform and push down the crust to the sides of the fluted pan. See photos. The finished presentation will depend on the time you took here. Trim the crust flush with the side of the pan with a knife. Again, see photo.
Crack eggs into a 4 quart mixing bowl. Add milk/cream or half and half, dried lemon peel or juice, cloves, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Now start layering crust with some of the cheese, then some sautéed vegetables, then some ham. Repeat the layers again reserving a couple of tablespoons of the ham and cheese to float on the top. Pour the egg custard mix in a circular motion over the layered quiche ingredients. Place the reserved cheese and ham slices gently on the top so as to float and be visible after baking.
Place quiche on a foil lined pan and bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. When it is done properly, the puffed up middle will be slightly spongy to the touch, not firm nor soggy. When cooled, plate on a nice serving dish and garnish with flowers or fresh fruit.