Thursday, 15 March 2012

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche


For me, one of the most difficult things about writing recipes is breaking down what I do.  All my life, I’ve just walked into the kitchen and cooked.  I do work from recipes until I become familiar with a dish but, as a dish becomes my own over time, I refer to the recipe less and less.  I also fly by the seat of my pants a lot of the time.  I look at what I have and then think of something to make from it.  Neither habit encourages quantifying or breaking the process down into steps.

Quiche is one of the dishes I just cook.  I’ve made a lot of quiches in my life, usually because they’re such good refrigerator Velcro.  I can use up little bits of meat or vegetables, and extend them into a bunch of servings by baking them into a quiche. 

I’ve made quiches for such a long time that I no longer have any idea where I first learned the recipe.  Over time, it became a matter of remembering the proportions of the filling and winging it with the rest.  You can do the same.

The basic proportion of liquid for a quiche filling is one egg plus enough milk or cream to make 3/4 of a cup of liquid in total. This proportion can be used to make quiches of any sort and any size, large or small.  Most 9-inch quiches (six to eight servings) require between 2-1/4 and 3 cups of this mixture.  You can reduce or increase the amount of filling you make depending upon the size of quiche you wish to make.

Cheese is another essential ingredient in a quiche.  If I’m making a regular 9-inch quiche, I’ll use 1-1/2 cups of shredded cheese.  There's really no need for exact measurement here:  Just make your shredded cheese the first ingredient you add to your pastry shell, and use enough to fill the shell about half way.

Keep your other ingredients simple.  Try to limit the additions to one or two flavours, plus whatever seasonings you think will suit.

To make Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche, you’ll need:


  • 1 cup flour
  • a scant half teaspoon of salt (I used seasoned salt this time)
  • 1/2  cup lard
  • 2 Tablespoons very cold water
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked broccoli
  • 3 eggs
  • Enough milk or cream to make 2-1/4 cups liquid when added to the eggs.  (I use evaporated milk in my quiches.  One tin is just the right amount for 3 eggs.)
  • Seasonings to taste

Stir the flour and salt together until well combined.  Cut the lard into the flour.  I tend to leave the lard in fairly large pieces—about the size of a kidney bean—because it’s always better to leave it too large than to break it down too small.  A light hand will result in a flakier crust.


Stir the water into the flour and lard mixture just until the ingredients are moistened and start to hold together.  Gently press the dough together and then cover it with plastic wrap, pressing it into place around the mound of dough.  Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes.  When it’s ready to work, it will look something like this:


Roll the pastry out between two sheets of wax paper.  Transfer it into the pie plate and form it into shape.  It doesn’t have to look perfect but do try to make sure that you patch any holes so that the filling won't leak out underneath the crust.


Spread the shredded cheese out inside the pastry shell and arrange the broccoli on top.


Crack the eggs into a large measuring cup and beat them.  Add in enough milk or cream to make 2-1/4 cups.  Mix the liquids together very well.  No strings of yellow egg should be distinguished within the milk.  Add in your seasonings. (I kept it simple this time and added just seasoned salt.  I’ve also used a combination of salt and nutmeg in my broccoli quiches.  The nutmeg works well with both the dairy goods and the broccoli.)


Pour the filling over the ingredients in the pie shell.

I found that the liquid didn’t cover the broccoli as much as I’d like it to, so I mixed together another egg and some more milk and poured it into the pie shell too.


Bake the quiche on the middle rack of a 350˚F oven until the custard has set.  This usually takes between an hour and an hour and a half.  You can test for done-ness by inserting a thin knife into the center of the quiche.  It should come out almost clean.


Let the quiche rest for about 10 minutes before you cut it into portions for service.  It will come out of the pie plate much more easily if you do this.

Leftover quiche should be reheated in an oven, not the microwave.  Individual portions can be wrapped and frozen.  Thaw the portions completely (in the fridge) before reheating them.

_________________________________________

Gallery of Favorites



DIY projects and crafts



Mrs Happy Homemaker



Coping With Frugality

Cast Party Wednesday

The 36th AVENUE