When COVID-19 shut down our city, my business, which focused on promoting local events, came to a screaming halt. Routine is something that has always been important to me. When I no longer had my work, I had to create wayfinders to navigate my new, unstructured lifestyle. That’s where quiche comes in.
Quiche always seemed super fancy to me. My mom made it with crab when her sisters came over for cocktails. She made Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine for my dad and I on the odd weekend. She made it for work potlucks, for new parents, for funerals. Quiche was an occasion.
Now, in the trash fire of 2020, with nothing but time on my hands, I have perfected my own quiche through a series of trial and error. I make it every Sunday. It’s a fresh start to a new week, a marker of time passing. It’s a way to use up leftovers. It’s a ritual: a meditation in eggs, milk and cheese.
First off, I do not make my own crust. Maybe you do and that is great! I find little difference in enjoyment when I use store-bought versus homemade crust. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and par-bake the frozen crust covered in parchment paper and weighted with pie weights or dried beans. Next, grate enough Parmesan into base of the crust to cover and bake for 10 more minutes uncovered. The cheese keeps the bottom crust from getting soggy (and more cheese is never a bad thing).
Next, choose your fillings. I usually choose a couple vegetables, maybe meat, and a strong tasting cheese. It could be a bell pepper that’s been languishing in the back of your crisper, last night’s BBQ chicken leftovers, a rogue knob of Gruyere. Choose your own quiche-venture! Just make sure to keep your fillings to about one and a half cups so you don’t overfill your quiche. If you use a veggie with high water content (like zucchini), make sure to sauté first so you don’t end up with a soggy mess. Finally, briskly whisk together three eggs and one and a half cups of milk or half and half (heavy cream can be part of this mix if you’re feeling indulgent) and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill the crust with the veggie/cheese mixture and pour the egg custard in, letting it ooze into the nooks and crannies. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden and the edges are set, but the center is still jiggly. Now the hard part: letting it cool for at least 20 minutes before eating. My husband likes his slice warm with hot sauce. I like mine room temp with a light spread of sour cream on top, like Julia Child’s editor Judith Jones prefers. I think mom would approve