Breakfast and Sweet Breads

The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Quiche

Quide to Perfect Quiche by A Thousand Crumbs (4 of 6)

Get ready for a super long blog post guys!  I am a huge quiche fan, and there is so much information swirling around the internet about how to make the perfect one.  Some of it good, some of it not so good!  I grew up watching my mom make the most light and fluffy quiches, so I thought I would share a few tricks and tips to make sure you can enjoy a perfect quiche every time!  I also included my favorite quiche recipe below (also pictured), so you can check that out if you need a place to start.

Quiche is wonderful for breakfast or brunch, but it works equally well for lunch or even dinner depending on the flavors you pick, and what you serve along side.  It is very versatile, and extremely easy to throw together quickly.  Once you master the basic egg custard filling, the possibilities and flavor combinations are endless!

Perfect Quiche:  Crust

There is nothing like a homemade all-butter crust.  And truthfully, homemade crust isn’t as intimidating as it sounds.  Once you get a handle on homemade pie crust, you can really use it for anything, including quiche!  With that said, I don’t always make my own crust because I don’t always have time or the forethought.  If you aren’t going to make your own crust, I suggest finding a crust that has as few ingredients as possible and/or uses all-butter.  That will usually yield that flakiest, best tasting crust.  If I am going to buy crust, I am a fan of the Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts.  They come in a pack of two, and are not all-butter, but they are very tasty!

A tip about par-baking crust:  This is an important step to avoid a soggy bottom on your quiche!  Sometimes I skip it if I am in a hurry and it’s just me eating the quiche, but for a a dry, flaky bottom crust, don’t skip par-baking.  See more below.

Perfect Quiche:  Egg Custard Filling

The egg custard filling is really the most crucial part of the quiche.  An unbalanced custard filling can yield runny, or even rubbery filling, neither of which we want!  The import thing to remember with quiche filing is the ratio of eggs to liquid.  The widely accepted ratio is 1 egg for every 1/2 cup of dairy.  But, I’ve found that Julia Child’s modified take on this ratio actually works best.  Using a measuring cup, crack your eggs into it, and then add the liquid until you’ve reached your desired 1:2 goal.  So for example, if you’re using 3 eggs, crack them into your measuring cup, and then add your dairy to get you to 1 1/2 cups total custard.

Let’s talk fat for a second.  Quiche is not a low-fat food!  Sorry to burst your bubble.  The fat content of your dairy is important.  I recommend whole milk, or even something higher in fat like half and half.  If you really want a decadent quiche, you can even use a little heavy cream.

For a standard 9-inch pie shell (NOT a tart pan), I use 4 eggs, and then equal parts half and half (or heavy cream) and whole milk, which yields a total of 2 cups of custard.

I also season my custard base with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper (to taste).  This seems to be the perfect jumping off point for the endless flavor combinations of quiche!

Perfect Quiche:  Fillings and Combinations

This is the fun part!  Let your imagine run wild when it comes to flavoring your quiche.  There really are endless combinations based on the vegetables, meats, and cheeses you use.  Adjust the fillings as you like, but below is my general rule for flavoring my filling.

Vegetables (1 to 1 1/2 cup total), choose up to 3

Some options to explore – roasted and chopped asparagus, steamed and chopped broccoli, frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained), sautéed and chopped kale, chopped roasted peppers (drained), sautéed sliced mushrooms, chopped sautéed onion or shallots, chopped green onion, artichoke hearts (drained)

Meat (3/4 cup total), choose 1 or 2

Some options to explore – cooked and crumbled bacon, cooked and crumbled sausage, chopped ham, chopped pepperoni or salami, shredded rotisserie chicken

Cheese (1 cup total), choose 1 or 2

Some options to explore – grated Swiss, gruyère, or Jarlsberg, crumbled manchego, grated monterey jack, pepper jack, or cheddar, crumbled goat cheese, crumbled feta, grated parmesan, ricotta

Fresh Herbs (1-2 Tbsp total), optional

The addition of fresh herbs can be really nice to add to your quiche depending on your filings.  Fresh basil, parsley, thyme, and chives all lend a lovely bright flavor.  Use these based on the flavors you like.

Perfect Quiche:  Assembling and Baking

I mentioned par-baking your crust above, but I am going to mention it again in case you missed it.  Par-baking is important if you want to maintain a flaky bottom crust.  It allows the crust to set, so it doesn’t shrink or bubble up.  This is not an absolute must, and I will be the first to admit I don’t always do it because of time.  But if you want perfect crust, par-bake!

To par-bake your crust – preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough (store-bought or homemade) and crimp your edges as desired.  Chill the plate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Line your crust with foil or parchment, and fill it with dried beans (about 1 1/2 lbs) or pie weights.  Bake until the crust has set (about 20 minutes).  Remove from the oven, and remove the weights and foil.  Continue baking until the crust is lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Let the crust cool while you continue to prepare your filling.

To assemble your quiche – layer the veggies, meat, and cheese, and then pour the custard filling on top.

Ok, I know that was a lot of information about quiche!  Hopefully it cleared up any confusion, or inspired you to branch out and try new flavors.  If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or reach out to me directly via email!

Quide to Perfect Quiche by A Thousand Crumbs (2 of 6)

My favorite quiche has spinach, crumbled bacon, shallots, and gruyère cheese in it.

Spinach and Bacon Quiche

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, purchased, or homemade
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (roughly) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (roughly) half and half or heavy cream
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and drained (see note below)
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 6 slices of bacon, cooked, and crumbled
  • 1 cup grated gruyère cheese

Instructions

1

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough (store-bought or homemade) and crimp your edges as desired.  Chill the plate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.  Line your crust with foil or parchment, and fill it with dried beans (about 1 1/2 lbs) or pie weights.  Bake until the crust has set (about 20 minutes).  Remove from the oven, and remove the weights and foil.  Continue baking until the crust is lightly golden, about 5 minutes.  Let the crust cool while you continue to prepare your filling.

3

To make your custard, crack your eggs into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add equal parts whole milk and half and half until you reach 2 cups total liquid. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk the custard until well combined and the eggs and milk have completely blended together.

4

In your cooled crust, layer the spinach, chopped shallot, crumbled bacon, and cheese. Pour the custard filling over top.

5

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the filling has set and slightly puffed in the middle, about 40-50 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, the middle should jiggle slightly. Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes (ideally 30 minutes) before slicing. This will give the custard a chance to set.

Notes

To prepare thawed spinach, it is important to remove as much moisture as possible so it doesn't make the quiche soggy. To do this, use cheese cloth (or similar) to wring and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. The spinach should be very dry and crumbly when you're done. You want a cup of this dry and crumbly spinach for your quiche.

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