Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fail-Free Quiche

My mother's legendary Quiche of the Titans featured in my last post and due to popular demand, I'd now like to share the recipe with the world. For years and years, I hated quiche. I despised the rubberiness, the overwhelming egginess and above all those uncooked chunks of onion that people invariably feel is necessary. I loathed the fact that the only two flavours that seemed to exist were Lorraine and spinach. I even hated the quiche they served me when I holidayed in France, mainly because French people don't believe in vegetarianism and Bad Food in France is still Bad Food in Real Life. So extreme was my distaste that the only way my mother could get me to try hers was to call it a 'tart'. She kept up the charade for about a year, serving her 'tart' on a regular basis until I grew up a bit and realized that not all quiche is as inedible as Toe Jam.

Mum used to make this quiche and sell it to her university cafe for a bit of cash while she was defrauding centrelink (the welfare office) as a student. She never figured out if she was making any money out of it, but every Saturday she would diligently bake up a dozen or so of these babies, often skimping on vital but expensive ingredients like butter and salt. The recipe is extremely flexible and you can add whatever fillings take your fancy. My 'traditional' one has broccoli and long beans in it, but recently I've been making a Roast Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion one that is just devilishly good. You can even use a muffin tray and make mini ones, which is perfect for entertaining or just a light snack. 

So, first you need some pastry. Buy some frozen stuff from the store, or make your own (its dead easy)

For the shortcrust pastry:
125g cold butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons chilled water

- In a food processor, blend the butter and flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and the water and blend until the mixture forms a ball.
- If it's too dry or too wet, add some more water or flour.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into a disc, wrap it in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes
- You're now ready to roll it out and line the tin!

For the Quiche:

The basics pretty much consist of:
Some shortcrust pastry
3 Eggs
300mls of cream (use low fat or some milk if you're worried about the fat)
Pinch nutmeg
1 Ripe tomato, sliced
1 Garlic clove, sliced
Shredded cheese
Dried oregano or basil

Potential fillings:
- Roast sweet potato and caramelized onion
Roast the potato in a hot oven for 30mins (or just boil it) , caramelize the onions over a low heat on the stove for the same amount of time, adding some sugar and water and letting it go a beautiful brown (or buy some in a jar)
- Broccoli and long bean
Sauté the broccoli and beans with some chopped onions for 15 minutes. This really brings out the flavour!
- Broccoli and capsicum (red bell pepper)
Sauté the broccoli and capsicum with some chopped onions for 15 minutes. 
- Long bean and almond
Sauté the beans and some chopped onions for 15 minutes. Add the almonds in the last 5 minutes to toast.
- Salmon and camembert (Mum's favorite)
Chop up some salmon and some camembert, and add it to the tin. Too easy!
- Bacon, potato and onion
Par-boil or microwave the potatoes in an inch of water for 5 minutes and slice. Sauté the onion until soft and add the bacon to crisp slightly.
- Anything you like!
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C (355˚F).
  2. Grease a 20cm round tin (or anything you have- it really doesn't matter although if its quite deep it may take longer) and line with pastry. Be generous with it as it does shrink a bit while baking. If you like, blind bake to prevent a soggy bottom. This basically involves pricking it with a fork, half-filling it with dried pasta or beans and baking for 10-15 minutes in a hot oven.
  3. Prepare the filling (see above), and line the tin with it.
  4. Mix the eggs, cream and nutmeg together and pour over. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Dot the top with tomato slices and garlic (the garlic roasts slightly and goes beautifully sweet and flavourful)
  6. Cover with the cheese and dried herbs and pop it in the oven.
  7. It'll be ready in 20-40 minutes- it should have risen slightly and be golden on top. I'm sorry this is so vague, but it really does depend on your individual oven and the size and shape of the pan (it usually takes half an hour for a conventional quiche tin, which is quite shallow and round). The secret to this dish is not to overcook it- when quiche is cooked for two long, it becomes spongy and fills with air bubbles. You want the consistency to be more like set scrambled eggs. This really allows the filling to shine.
Enjoy :)

edit: Below is a pic of the 'filling' i used last night (minus the caramelized onions - they were bubbling away)


  1. Thanks for the recipe, maybe I'll call it a tart when I serve it for dinner. The Big Guy likes quiche well enough but doesn't consider it a meal at dinnertime for some reason.


  2. Move over Nigella indeed! Can't wait to try it out! Being lactose intolerant means I can't eat the ready-made varieties (not that I really want to either!) so I can use your recipe and add lactose-free cream, which sounds odd but actually exists! BTW, Jena looooved the cous cous (as did my big 96kg carnivore son!). Again, many thanks!