Quiche is something Americans consider extraordinary, but did you also know that quiche used to be a food reserved for people experiencing poverty? Quiche did not originate in France, as we are led to believe. It was created in Germany (1). However, I should mention that the borders of this area (the Alsace–Lorraine region) have changed since then. While the meat was scarce among rural people and farmers, eggs and dairy were readily available. The quiche has been around for hundreds of years, some even going back to the 14th Century. It was a versatile custard that included eggs, cream, and whatever vegetable or scraps were available.
You can make a springtime vegetable quiche with whatever ingredients or use what you have to make a quick lunch or dinner. There are some guidelines that you need to follow.
Ingredients are the best
It’s best to keep it to 3 ingredients or less. Why? Quiche is all about less. Custard is just one part of the experience. Too many ingredients can ruin those delicious sweet leeks and earthy mushrooms.
Blind baking your pastry crust at 190°C for 10-12 minutes can help you avoid a soggy bottom. Glass-bottomed pie pans are popular, and some love them. However, aluminum works best for pastry dough, while glass is better for crumb-style pie pies.
These cheeses are optional to add any flavor to the mixture. These cheeses’ milder flavors need to be clarified. Cream cheese or ricotta can be used to create a creamy background.
Please, only one star of cheese and Parmesan
In every quiche, 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese should be used. Add a sharp cheddar, blue cheese, or any other strong-flavored cheese. Mixing half bleu with half cheddar or half Swiss with half cheddar can cause confusion. Stick with the cheese you feel is the best for your show.
White Pepper Essential. Take it easy with the Nutmeg
Are you able to add more? A teaspoon of nutmeg will suffice. You can skip the mustard if you don’t like it as much as I do. Instead, add 1 tablespoon of Dijon.
Mix, Precook, Cool, and then Combine
In my quiche, I prefer fresh vegetables over frozen ones. Most vegetables will only cook partially if they are submerged in custard and then baked. You should cook a very juicy vegetable, such as a tomato, as long as it isn’t too soft. Place thin slices of tomato on top of the quiche just before baking. Tomatoes can alter the texture of eggs, which is great ( more information), but it’s not a good idea for a quiche. My spinach is even cooked in a quick sautee with olive oil and garlic. Once it starts to wilt, I take it off the heat and allow it to cool. Once the quiche is at room temperature, it can be built.
If you ignore my advice and decide to use every vegetable in your garden, great! To give the custard a firmer texture, you will need to add a few extra eggs to it.
4 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 egg white (for the crust)
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 lb. Fresh spinach sauteed with olive oil and garlic at room temperature
1 piecrust of 9 inches or an aluminum pastry-lined pan
One teaspoon All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard or 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (NOT both!
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack
1/2 cup ricotta cheese. Drain through cheesecloth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan and 2 Tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Sauté and cool the spinach. Place in a bowl and let cool on paper towels. Preheat oven to 190°C. Use egg white to brush the pie crusts or pastry-lined pans that have thawed with egg white. Blind bake for 12-15 min. Remove.
Mix eggs, egg yolks, and 2 cups of parmesan. Add all the ricotta, jack, cream, and butter. Mix in 1 teaspoon of flour. Stir. Salt, pepper, mustard, or nutmeg can be added. Place in a pie dish. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 190°C for 50 minutes or longer, depending on the oven. Quiche is finished when there is no uncooked custard left in the middle. Wear hot pads to test the quiche. Grab the edges of your pie pan and shake it lightly, like you are turning a steering wheel. Your quiche is ready if the center doesn’t move. You can also insert a sharp knife to check if the center is clean. For hitting the nose directly, however, the first method is better.
Enjoy my Spinach Quiche recipe, and feel free to experiment with different ingredients. You will only need a simple mesclun, butter leaf salad, and perhaps a bottle of Riesling.