I am only a very recent convert to quiche. As a kid, I was super picky about my eggs (they had to be scrambled, period, and fully cooked), and I certainly didn’t want other strange ingredients hanging out with my eggs. Quiche was something I would chew three times quickly, then wash it down with a hard swallow of milk, just to finish it. Not my favorite meal, if you couldn’t tell.
The quiche of my memories is not what this quiche is today – a silky, savory egg custard in a flaky crust, dotted with whatever extra bits of meats or vegetables your heart desires. It’s a great way to make something indulgent while also using up leftover bits in your fridge and freezer!
Side note about bits of vegetables: with this pseudo-spring weather hopping in and out this month, we have a plethora of little wild onion patches hanging out near the garden beds. I snatched a particularly hefty one with thin, soft stalks, and it has been an utter delight to eat: so far, I’ve used it in quiche, some Southwest egg rolls that I made for my birthday shenanigans, and as a topping for Dan Dan Noodles.
If you haven’t had wild onion, change that – its flavor is more pronounced than the scallions you get at the grocery store, plus a little garlicky, and not enough to overpower a dish like a big ol’ white onion. Also, it’s free if it’s growing in your yard. Make sure, of course, that what you’re picking is wild onion: dig up the whole plant (there should be little white onion bulbs on the bottom), and there should be a pronounced onion-garlic smell on both the bulbs and the stalks. No smell, no eat. Grab a foraging friend if you’re nervous, and they’ll help you out.
Try to get wild onion growing as far away from any road or driveway as possible (as you don’t want road runoff and crap from cars in the soil growing something you’re eating), and get it while the stalks are still tender and soft, like now. Go get them now. I’ll wait. And yes, you can eat the whole thing.
Anyway, back to quiche. Quiche, contrary to what you might think, is not just a frittata in a pie crust – the texture is quite different (silky versus eggy), and must be baked more carefully. Also, there’s a heck of a lot more dairy in a quiche to obtain this texture, but also fewer eggs. Unlike a frittata, you want a relatively low and long baking temperature for quiche to maintain its smoothness. The center will look underdone when you remove it from the oven, but will be set by the time it cools enough to eat.
I made the quiche pictured with a delightful lard (gasp!) crust, and ohhhh man was it good. You can use whatever crust you want – butter or lard (notice I’m not mentioning anything about their evil cousin, shortening) – and you’ll be golden.
Mmmm’kay, recipe time.
Basic Quiche with Wild Onion
The center will look underdone when you remove it from the oven, but will set after a cooling period. Use whole milk and heavy cream - don’t skimp! You can use green onions and/or other chopped greens if you don't have wild onions.
you will need:
- 1 recipe Basic Pie Crust (single crust)
- 2 large whole eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 c heavy cream
- 1 c whole milk
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 c grated hard cheese, such as parmesan or Gruyere
- ½ c chopped wild onions or greens
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. You’re going to blind bake your crust first (meaning, you’ll bake it halfway by itself so it doesn’t get soggy from the custard filling). Pat cold pie crust into a pie plate, shaping the edges as desired (fluted, forked, etc.). Line the crust with foil, then use pie weights or dried beans to weigh down both the crust and the foil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust looks dry and has darkened a bit in color. Remove the foil and pie weights, and cool the crust briefly on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling: in a large bowl or measuring cup (I’m a fan of the latter because it makes pouring the filling into the crust very easy), whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Spread the cheese and onion onto the warm, partially baked crust. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cheese and onion (this will both distribute the onion and keep the crust from getting majorly soggy).
- Bake at 375 degrees F until the edges of the crust are light brown, and a knife inserted about 1 inch from the edge of the quiche comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. The middle will still be jiggly but set on top. (If your crust browns more quickly than the filling, you can line the outer edges with foil.) Serve warm, at room temperature, or even cold out of the fridge!