Comeback Quiche

Quiche has somehow lost its way. Since its heyday in the 70s, when it was served too often at too many ladies’ affairs, quiche withstood many negative comments and the wrath of food critics around the world.

Its reputation was bruised. Maybe it was commercial tasteless crusts or soggy watery fillings. Whatever the reason, quiche has been heading for the same fate as sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic drizzles and stacked food. Once popular, these foods are now just memories, never to be repeated. But quiche deserves to be rescued. Because quiche done correctly is a beautiful thing — not to mention delicious!

Here are a few simple tips to ensure that your next quiche will earn its place in your recipe repertoire:

A good quiche should have a lot of dairy and a decent amount of fat. This is not diet food.

Quiche should have a good homemade crust, preferably baked before filling so it remains crispy.

The fillings in quiche may be cooked separately — onions should be sautéed and wet vegetables need to be cooked to the point of releasing their liquid. The liquid is then drained so the resulting dish is not watery.

So don’t let all the bad quiches out there ruin the entire category. We should just enjoy quiche for what it is: a light dairy meal with maybe at least one decent serving of vegetables and oozing with cheese — yum!

Basic Quiche Crust

2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar; pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Sprinkle with 1/4 cup ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add a bit more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do not over-mix.

Transfer half of dough (still crumbly) onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form dough into a disk 3/4 inch thick; wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (and up to 3 days). Repeat with remaining dough.

Place one disk of dough on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Rolling from center outward, form into a 12-inch round. Using paper, lift and wrap dough around a floured rolling pin; carefully unroll (discarding paper) over a 9-inch pie plate or fluted tart pan.

Gently fit dough into bottom and sides of plate. Avoid stretching or tearing dough. Using a paring knife, trim overhang to 1 inch; fold under to form a rim. Crimp with fingertips and knuckle.

(Makes two crusts — keep one ready in the freezer!)

Mushroom Shallot Quiche

1 pie crust (preferably homemade)

1 tbsp. butter

2 c. thinly sliced shallots

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

6 eggs

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced

1 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar

Preheat oven to 375°. F. Follow directions above for preparing crust.

Place a sheet of parchment paper over dough and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edge is dry and light golden, about 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high flame. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until light golden, 6–8 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes longer or until mushrooms are lightly browned.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and cream. Add shallots, mushrooms and cheese and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whisk to combine, pour into crust, and bake until center of quiche is just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm.