Friday, February 22, 2008

Quiche to die for … if I don't die baking it!

There comes a point in every bakers life where you begin to think "Hey, I know what I'm doing here!" and you think you can bake anything and everything. 
I had recently begun to think I had achieved a certain level of talent, and could probably tackle pretty much anything. I now know I was patting myself on my back a bit too firmly (and am grudgingly admitting it)!
I've been wanting to take my moms great pie crust recipe and making some alterations to see what would happen. So last night I decided that I would make the full recipe and divide it in half. I did so, and put one half into the fridge to use this morning on a quiche I had been wanting to make. The other half got halved again, and then halved yet again.  
I attempted adding in some honey to one of the small batches, and some maple syrup into another. The honey didn't seem to reveal itself in a wonderful burst of flavor as I hoped it would, and actually you couldn't even tell it was in there. The maple syrup did make a subtle, lovely impact, but in order to have been a real player in the taste, I would have needed to add a good deal more. 

The other portion I rolled out and made into little tiny pies, half filled with a mixture of butter, brown sugar and pecans, and the other encasing yummy sweet cream cheese. Those were delicious and well worth the effort it takes to make pie crust. 
This morning I was excited about making the quiche, as I had never done so before. I had decided on a spinach, bacon and swiss cheese recipe from Paula Dean on the Foodnetwork. She's the master is unhealthy yumminess, so I knew a quiche from her would be divine. I grabbed my dough out of the fridge and set to rolling it out on the counter. It wasn't cooperating as I would have liked, but I forged on. I rolled and rolled and finally got it to the size I needed to cover my tart pan. 
Here's where things went to pieces… literally!! The dough crumbled as I attempted to lift it onto the pan. So, I put the pieces back into their previous place, and tried to roll them back together again. I succeeded, sort of, and then tried to slide it
onto the pan again. About a quarter of it made it, and the rest fell apart. As the stomping up and down and shouting at the top of my lungs didn't seem to be helping, I finally decided just to piece the darn thing together in the pan and use the warmth of my fingers to mush it all back together again. 
It was hideous and it certainly made me thank god that no one was going to see what the crust looked like!
Next came a layer of spinach, crumbled cooked bacon, and swiss cheese. I'm a huge fan of onions, so I decided to add them into the equation. I sauted them a little bit and then added them into the cream and egg mixture that goes on top. I ended up having a lot of the cream/egg mixture left over, which was a shame. Sorry to the chicken who laid those eggs that went down the drain today, and to the lovely cow who made the cream that was wasted as well! It just wouldn't fit in there! 
The recipe called for a 35-45 minute bake time. I pulled it out at 35 because it was starting to brown on top and I didn't want it to burn after all my hard work. 
As I waited for my family to return home to eat it with me, I figured I would pop the quiche out of the tart pan by easily lifting the center of the pan out, just like the tart pan was designed for. So I grabbed a pot holder, placed my hand on the bottom of the pan and the outside rim popped off nicely. Then it slide down my arm and started burning my skin. As I howled in agony I slid the quiche onto the awaiting plate and tossed the scalding rim into the sink. 
20 minutes later I cut into the quiche, slid the first piece out and was greeted with a running mess. It was as if I had made soup and warmed it inside a pie crust shell. Back to stomping up and down and shouting. Back into the oven it went, on the plate and with a piece missing, for 10 more minutes. 
Thank goodness it tasted good!! I swear by the time I pulled it out of the oven I didn't care anymore if it was done, I just wanted to eat it! Luckily the final 10 minutes helped it to set up perfectly. It was delicious, and I will make it again. 
Hopefully you'll have better first time success than I did! Here's the recipe from Paul Dean with my additions:

6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Salt + Pepper 
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1/2 large onion, sauted in 1 tbs butter 
Your favorite pie crust recipe 
  • Preheat oven 375º
  • Line a 9 inch tart pan or pie dish with whatever pie crust recipe you would like to use.
  • Put down layer of chopped spinach
  • Follow with layer of crumbled bacon
  • Next put down layer of swiss cheese
  • Combine cream, eggs and S+P in blender and mix together
  • Pour mixture into pan and then put onions in (I put the onions into the mixture and next time I wouldn't because they sink and then plop in in lumps)
  • Bake 35-45 minutes (I recommend 45 :) 

Up next… Boston Cream Pie cupcakes! My sweet tooth is aching already! 

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