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Perfect quiche
January 24, 2017, 11:28 am

A quiche is essentially a baked custard (savory rather than sweet) in a pie shell, although you can certainly make one without the crust. It usually includes cheese, as well as other ingredients. Since it is a custard, it is more delicate in consistency than a frittata. This is because it is made with more liquid than eggs, traditionally 2 to 3 eggs per cup of liquid (traditionally cream, but this is less usual these days), although you see recipes with more eggs.

Quiches are a stupendous creation, creamy, buttery and flavorful; and if you do it right, the custard is deliciously full of cheese and the crust is loaded with nutty whole grains and not a square millimeter of the eggy mass is overcooked or weepy. When it comes to creating the perfect quiche, there are some simple tips and tricks to guarantee success.

Whether you are baking a brunch friendly bacon and egg-filled treat or an elegant vegetarian dinner with a healthy side salad, quiche is extremely easy to adapt in a number of delicious ways.

Apply these to your favorite quiche recipe to take it from fine to divine.

Par-bake the crust: The trick with quiche is to preserve the delicate texture. This is achieved by removing it from the oven while it is still a bit uncooked in the center; it will continue to cook when removed from the heat.  There is nothing worse than a quiche with a gummy, gooey crust. Avoid this and keep the crust's texture intact by par-baking. Since you are going to bake it with filling, a bake of 10 minutes or so in the preheated oven before baking the quiche should do the job. You are looking for a set, dull finish rather than browning.

This will serve you well once you add the wet ingredients, which can make the crust soggy. Think of it as a buffer to maintain an appetizing consistency in the crust which will flake, not become gluey. It will turn out velvety and smooth rather than chunky-style. Overcooked quiche has a tough, cracked texture around the outside.

Add a little flour to the custard: For another step of curdling insurance, whisk a little flour into your eggs and dairy. The flour helps absorb moisture and stabilize the entire custard while contributing even more creaminess.

Load it up with cheese: Good quiche stands fine on its own, and if you want to avoid excess cheese, it is fine. But taste is so much better when you savor the fat crumbles of soft cheese that lie across the bottom of the crust.

Use better flour for a better crust: An addition of whole wheat and spelt flours to this crust gives it a big boost of nutty flavor and a more sandy, interesting texture.

Keep your chunks of butter large: Even if you just stick with plain flour for a simple butter crust, keep the pieces of butter in your crust as large as possible. Think butter cubes the size of dice that flatten out into eye-catching slabs. They will help make your crust as flaky as possible.

Cook the filling well: The fillings in quiche should typically be seasoned and cooked separately. In the case of meats, it will bring out the flavor and ensure that they are fully and properly cooked. In terms of veggies, it allows you to add flavor and reduce excess moisture, ensuring they maintain flavor and don't become gummy once baked. Let the items cool, and then stir into your egg mixture.

A quiche filling should contain just enough eggs to prevent it from being soupy, but remember that the eggs are just a supporting player. It is the butterfat in the cream and milk that is responsible for a good quiche’s disarmingly rich texture.

Give it room to grow: You know how you only fill cupcake liners or cake pans three fourths full before baking? Do the same with quiche. The eggs will rise as it bakes, and you don't want your crust to run over. Allowing a little room for rise will allow for a perfect texture in your finished quiche.

Of course, if you are still worried about overflow, you can place a sheet pan in an oven rack below the quiche.

Allow it to set:  This is possibly the most difficult tip of all. Even though the top may appear tantalizingly and perfectly brown, the inside is still catching up, so be patient before cutting into your quiche. The inside will continue to bake even while the exterior reaches a warm temperature. A good rule is to wait at least 45 minutes, if you can. It will still taste good if you slice it sooner, but things could certainly get messy.

Serve with a side:  Adding a side is an easy way to upgrade quiche from snack to meal. A lovely side salad can balance out the richness of quiche and make for an elegant serving presentation. For breakfast, a side of seasonal fresh fruit can make it a brunch-friendly treat and give the plating a pretty pop of color.





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