Quiches are funny things. They look all innocent and dainty with their crimped crusts sitting on pretty plates. Delicate slivers are featured at fancy bistros and meant to be “light” lunches, but there is nothing light about quiche. They are decadent little things. Full of butter and eggs and cheese. And that is why they’re so absolutely delicious. How can they not be? But they are dangerous. You have to serve yourself and walk away before you devour half a quiche without realizing it.
This is why they’re best made for company. Brunches and buffet tables are the perfect ways to enjoy quiche. You can have your cake without eating the whole thing. This particular recipe is pretty standard, but I added some bacon breadcrumbs to give it a more interesting crunchy topping. I really liked how it contrasted with the custard-like interior and kept it from being too mushy.
An excellent dish to feed a hungry holiday crowd.
1 tart or pie pastry shell* (you can use frozen if you’re tight on time)
1 9-inch pie shell or tart pan
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 leeks, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk (can use skim)
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 tsp. salt
6 slices from a stale baguette (2 or 3-inch piece), or 2 slices sandwich bread
3 slices bacon, cut into lardons
Preheat your oven to 375°. Place your dough over a pie shell or tart pan and gently press into the pan, making sure the dough extends a little bit over the edge of the pan. Gently tent with aluminum foil and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until it’s golden. Remove from oven.
While your shell is baking, make the filling. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, heat the olive oil and add the leeks and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until they are soft and just beginning to brown. Remove from heat and set aside. (Reserve the skillet for later.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk and salt. Stir in the leeks and gruyere and carefully ladle the mixture into the cooked pie shell. If you have leftovers, you can make mini-crustless quiches in ramekins (bake for 15 minutes or so).
Carefully place the quiche in the oven and cook for 35 – 40 minutes or until the top is deeply golden and the custard is set in the center.
While the quiche is cooking, prepare the breadcrumbs. If your bread is stale enough, grate it into crumbs with a box grater or food processor. If not, toast it, then make breadcrumbs. Set your skillet back over medium heat and add the bacon.
Cook until the bacon is almost crisp – cooking time will depend on the thickness of your bacon. Add the breadcrumbs and toast in the bacon drippings. Once the bacon is crisp and the breadcrumbs and golden, remove from heat and set aside.
Let the quiche rest for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
Makes about 6 – 8 servings.
For the tart shell:
2.5 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup chilled water
Place the flour and salt in a bowl then add the butter. Using a knife or nifty pastry blender*, cut the butter into the flour to form large crumbs. Add the water and mix (I like to use my hands) until just combined. Place a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface, then dump the content of the bowl onto it. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to a day. You can also refrigerate for 20 minutes, then place in an air-tight ziploc bag and freeze until you’re ready to use it.
When your ready to make your quiche, preheat the oven to 375Â°. Cut the dough in half, then sprinkle each half with flour and roll out into a thin round.
This recipe makes enough for 2 pie / quiche shells.