Quiche - the All Purpose Pie
Author/Submitted by: Julia Child
It's quick to assemble because all you need on hand is the base - eggs and milk - plus anything else: cheese, bacon, onions, canned pimiento, leftover cooked vegetables, tomato sauce and so forth.
You can build from the bottom up with your own pie crust dough or a homemade frozen shell formed earlier. Or use a frozen store-bough shell - and offer no apologies. Or the other hand, you can bake any of the quiche fillings in a plain dish and call it a custard. That's what a quiche is, anyway - a custard in a pie shell.
Pre-Baking Shells. So often you see people eat all the filling of an apple pie - or quiche - but leave the bottom crust untouched. They don't even taste it, knowing from sad experience that it's soggy. The solution: Pre-bake the empty shell- well worth the time and really the only way to achieve a perfect crust with tender crunch throughout. Weight down store-bought shells before pre-baking with buttered foil and dried beans. This keeps sides and bottom in place by bracing them.
QUICHE FILLINGS: A quiche filling is a flavoring that is held together with a custard - that is, eggs and a liquid of some sort. The eggs slowly coagulate in the oven, maintaining the rest of the ingredients in creamy suspension. You don't want too much custard - just the right balance between it and the garnish, whatever it may be. You can't be exact about measures, because shells vary in depth. but you can calculate by the egg, adding more or using less. FOR EACH "LARGE" EGG. Break the egg into a cup; add liquid to reach the 1/2 cup level.
QUICHE LORRAINE - This is the original Alsatian model. It's bacon only (no cheese) plus the custard, which is made of real cream that blends deliciously with the smoky taste of the bacon. Try it - on one of those days when you're slim as a scallion.
The quiche- that delicious, cheesy, open-faced custard pie invented by some clever Alsatian cook - is a wonderfully easy first course or main course that is fast to prepare and makes great eating.