Monday, July 8, 2013
Cooking in the desert...I should write a cookbook with that title. It is neither physically nor financially prudent in Southern New Mexico to turn the oven on from June 15-August 30. That said, baking up a pie crust or two early in the day is worth the heated kitchen especially if you fill it with this yummy quiche recipe.
You can use your favorite pie crust recipe for this quiche or use the cheater pie crust from the grocery. I usually opt to buy the crust...one more mess averted. Marie Calendar makes my favorite ready-made crust. You can find it in the frozen food section of your grocery store if you live in the big city. In our tiny berg I make do with the store brand. It works.
To blind bake the crust:
Heat the oven to 350°F and place a large rimmed baking sheet on the center rack.
Crumple a 12-inch square of parchment, then flatten it, and line the crust with it. On top of the parchment, place dried beans or pie weights and gently press them against the sides.
Bake the crust on the hot baking sheet and bake until the edge is a deep golden-brown and the bottom no longer looks raw (carefully pull back the parchment to check).
Bake about 40 to 45 minutes; protect the edge with a pie shield or ring of foil if it’s getting too dark. Remove the parchment and beans and pie shield and cool on a rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes. You're going to bake the crust a second time, so be sure the edge of your pie crust does not get too "browned." Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before filling. Turn the oven down to 325°F and make the filling and prep the ad-ins. :)
8 large egg yolks (freeze and save those whites for meringue!)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup Fresh herb(s) of your choice ~ optional I used chopped fresh thyme
In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Set aside.
1 cup diced cooked ham
1 cup steamed bite-size broccoli florets (be sure to drain the steamed broccoli)
Of course, you can vary the ad-ins based on your own preferences. This custard recipe is the perfect base for your own creation.
Place the baked crust on the rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the ham and broccoli over the bottom of the crust. Whisk the custard filling and slowly pour it into the crust, careful not to disturb the add-ins.
Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield or make one out of a ring of foil. Transfer the quiche on the baking sheet to the center rack of the oven and bake at 325° F until the custard feels set to the touch in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. It should be golden-brown and slightly puffed and not loose in the center when you jiggle it. Let cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes.
The custard filling of this quiche is creamy and wonderful, so don't fill it too full with the add-ins. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Of course you could eat it while still warm, but at my house in the summertime that's at 9am. Wait, quiche for breakfast AND dinner? I say, "Yes" to that! Bon Appetite!