You Should Still Make This Quiche


1

I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since I made Thomas Keller’s 2-inch quiche (recipe and article here). When I think back to making it that day in culinary school last April and how the concept of making a quiche was so utterly new and weird to me… I’m really amazed by how far I’ve come since then. I get it now… and can play around with it.

Last time, I agonized over getting the process and ingredients just right — Point Reyes Blue Cheese (instead of Roquefort) and leeks — but this time, the whole idea to make the quiche came about while I was driving home from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market so the whole process was much more improv-style.

I decided to use the red chard and dandelion greens that I’d purchased to make a sort of faux quiche florentine. To be honest, my biggest problem with quiches is that there can be so much rich, monotonous custard, but I also didn’t want it to be too dense w/ greens. So when I got home, I raided my fridge to see what else I could use to fill in my quiche and discovered a leftover 3/4 of an onion, some feta, some thyme, and some slices of bacon in my freezer.

I then looked in the Bouchon cookbook and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison for ideas for how to go about preparing the ingredients.

Except for the custard base and crust, I didn’t really measure anything. I just estimated and adjusted based on the amount of ingredients I had and how they were acting.

Dandelion Greens: 1 bunch, stems removed.  Boiled in water for 8 minutes, drained, boiled in change of water for 8 mins. Squeezed very dry. Next time I’ll probably just wilt them in butter; they shrunk so much when boiled and I don’t mind a bit of bitterness.

Red Chard: 1 bunch, stems removed.  Wilted in melted butter, salt, and pepper. Squeezed very dry. Their red color was sorted of wasted in this; I didn’t really want a pink quiche, though, so I’m happy they didn’t bleed into the custard. Btw, these took forever to clean. No matter how many times I changed the water in the sink that I was cleaning them in, little bugs kept turning up. It probably took at least 5 changes of water until I was satisfied that they were clean.

Onion: 3/4 of an onion. Based on the Onion Confit recipe in the Bouchon cookbook. You basically cook slices of onion in a pan very slowly – with water, butter, and a bouquet garni (I just used some sprigs of thyme). They’re soft, but don’t fall apart, and have a natural onion-y sweetness. It’s supposed to take about 2 hours, so I started this first, and let it go while I did other things. I stopped it when it seemed soft and cooked and sweet… I don’t really know how long it took.

Bacon: Baked lardons until fat rendered. Sauteed briefly with onions before assembling quiche. I just used 1.75 slices for the whole thing. I love bacon, but I don’t like when it dominates.

Also, I saw that the quiches in the cookbook are assembled by laying half of the vegetables on the bottom of the crust, pouring over half of the custard base, laying the other half of the vegetables on top and then pouring over the rmg custard base. So, instead of mixing all of the filling ingredients together, I made a lorraine-like layer topped by a florentine-like layer…

So, not only is it a 2-inch quiche — it’s a 2-in-1 quiche!

1

And technically, this is probably a little more than 2 inches. Since I don’t have the specified 9×2″ ring mold, I used the outside of a 9″ spring form pan, that was about 2.5 inches tall. Even though the crust originally was originally folded over the top, it slipped down during parbaking. That was fine.

And as I wrote before, this quiche is something of a long, slow project. It’s not hard and it’s certainly flexible and even forgiving, but it just needs time, esp b/c it’s so big. The crust — from mixing ingredients to resting to rolling out to shaping in pan to chilling again to baking to cooling — takes a while; several hours, at least. The prep for the inside fillings can be as quick or slow as you want, at least, and the custard is a snap to make (although it does need a 15 min rest at one point). But then it takes about 1.75 hrs to bake (mine took 2 hr 10 mins; probably b/c of all the stuff in it), and a long time to cool. In the book, it’s recommend that you chill it and serve it the next day, reheating it slice by slice. You’re best bet is probably to make it over the course of a weekend day, and then eat it over the course of the week.

Oh, and how did it taste? Awesome. It was just as breathtakingly silky as last time, and the fillings were good alone and together.

I wanted to serve it with a mustard greens/fennel/celery/scallion/feta/thyme salad last night, but the quiche didn’t make it in time, so instead, I went with glazed multi-colored carrots from the farmer’s market for today.

3 Responses to “You Should Still Make This Quiche”

  1. Aaron Says:

    Two things…
    So why does TK say to make it the day ahead and reheat it slice by slice. I’ve done that before, in the benefit of time, and really don’t like the results, so I’m curious to understand his thinking.
    Speaking of turning things red…the other day at the restaurant a prep cook accidentally used beet greens inside cannelloni instead of mustard greens. They turned bright pink after sitting for a minute. I thought it was hysterical…too bad my chef didn’t 😛

  2. Julia Says:

    That looks delicious. Quiche is one of the things I grew up on. One of the few things my mother could reliably make with successfully tasty results. I hadn’t thought of changing the leafy greens up, but the idea of chard sounds quite nice.

  3. Nina Says:

    Aaron – Keller has quite a remarkable 2-page ( and then some) ode/manifesto on the quiche in the the Bouchon cookbook. He only mentions chilling it in terms of cutting: “The quiche needs to be thoroughly chilled before it’s cut, so make your quiche at least a day, or up to three days, before serving it.” He does use an immersion blender to make the egg batter, so it is pretty delicate (and of course, tall) and I guess that chilling it would make for reliable cuts (and maybe the flavors get a chance to develop/meld?)… But, the first time I made it, I cut it while it was still warm (b/c class was ending and other people’s quiches had come out of the oven hours before!), and I don’t remember it falling apart, though it was pretty wobbly.

    Haha, yeah… seems like chefs generally have a thing against bright pink food. 🙂 And I remember one chef at school being adamant about using green olives instead of black olives in olive bread b/c he hates purple bread.

    Julia – Thank you! Yeah, I even regret not putting the mustard greens in… I was afraid that they would overpower it, but I’d consider doing it for my next quiche.

    And I’ve been lucky to have reliable results with this recipe so far, but oddly enough, the one time I got it at Bouchon in Yountville, their’s was curdled and off-tasting.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.