Friday, April 2, 2010

Quiche (AKA "Scrambled Egg Pie")

My 9 year old daughter loves quiche, but when she was little she younger she turned her nose up to the mention of any dish that she wasn't familiar with the name of. So, one night I wanted to make quiche for dinner and she turned her nose up and said "I don't want that." without even listening to hear what it was. So, I asked her, "Well, what if I make you a scrambled egg pie?" and she was interested. She asked what was in it, and I replied "Hmmm... Let's see. There's scrambled eggs of course, and some cheese, and ... bacon". Once I said that magic word "bacon" out loud, she was hooked. She begged me to please please please make her a scrambled egg pie. So, I made a bacon and cheese quiche and we all called it "scrambled egg pie" when we sat down at the dinner table. Success!

Eggs are cheap and I always have at least a dozen in the fridge. I also buy shredded cheese when the store has them on sale for 4 packages for $5 and throw them all in the freezer. When bacon goes on sale for "buy one get one free" I buy 6 packages and put 5 of them in the freezer. Pie crusts are inexpensive to make, but I do buy the pre-made ones when on sale (and many times with coupons too) and keep several in my freezer on hand as well. So, on any given day, I can put together a quiche for only a few dollars. One quiche is enough to feed myself and my children. If my husband is home for the meal, two quiches are needed. This quiche cost me about $4 total.

You'll need the following ingredients:
1 deep dish pie crust
6 eggs
1 package bacon (I prefer center cut)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Start with your pie crust. If you are using a pre-made one that is currently in the freezer, pull it out and allow it to thaw on the counter. Once thaw you'll need to start by using a regular table fork to gently poke holes around the bottom of the pie crust and a few on sides as well. You want to press gently so you don't crack the crust (if it cracks thaw it a little longer) but firmly enough to press all the way through to the pie pan. The holes will help keep you crust from forming bubbles while it bakes so that it will maintain it's shape. Next, take some strips of aluminum foil and cover the perimeter (outside edge) of your pie crust so that it won't brown when you pre-bake it. (Although pre-baking the crust isn't completely necessary for quiche, I believe it helps keep the bottom of the crust from getting soggy when you make the quiche. So, if a soggy crust doesn't bother you, feel free to skip pre-baking. But, seriously it doesn't take long to pre-bake a crust, and your quiche will be oooh so yummier if you do.) Pre-bake the crust in your oven for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil strips.

Cook your bacon until crispy and drain on paper towels. Then take a paper towel and blot any of the spots you may have missed. In a 1 quart bowl, beat 6 eggs together with a wire whisk until the yolks and whites are incorporated into each other. Add 1 cup of milk and continue whisking. Add salt and pepper to your tastes while whisking. I use about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper.

Chop your bacon and place in the bottom of your pre-baked pie crust (after eating 2-3 whole slices while no one is looking. Yum... bacon) Then sprinkle about 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese on top of the bacon.

Pour your egg mixture on top, then take your fork that you used for poking holes earlier and very very very gently scrape the bottom of the ingredients around the bottom of your pie plate. Be careful here, you are trying to just barely lift the bacon and cheese up from the bottom layer of the crust so that you don't end up with a "layered" quiche. I suppose you could have whisked the bacon and cheese in with the egg mixture and poured it all at once into the pie plate, but when you do that, all of your cheese ends up in the "middle" of the quiche. And, I really like the way that pouring it over the top causes some of the cheese to float to the top while others are completely covered in egg mixture.

Place in oven and bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Modifications and tips:
  • You can make any kind of quiche you want with any types of cheese or veggies you like.
  • I like to add thawed frozen spinach to quiche, but if you do be sure to thaw it completely and then strain it pressing it against the strainer to get all the liquid out. Otherwise you'll end up with a watery mess in your quiche.
  • Another idea is to thaw some frozen chopped broccoli and add some diced leftover ham. YUM!
  • Most recipes I have seen call for using swiss cheese in quiche, but I prefer cheddar with bacon.
  • Use what you like or what you have on hand. There is no need to thaw your cheese if you have it in the freezer, but if you are adding frozen vegetables to your quiche, I recommend you steam them part of the way in the microwave first to thaw them out.


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