Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Channeling Quiche Lorraine

I call this "Channeling" Quiche Lorraine because I felt the spirits of Irma Rombauer (the original author of The Joy of Cooking) and Virginia Caroline Redfern Derrick, my maternal grandmother, who effortless made a gazillion meals for her family, friends, and fortunate folks. I am also paying homage to my friend, Jessica's chickens - though not exactly channeling them whilst cooking, that would just be weird. Thanks for the eggs, they are delicious.

My grandmother never really taught me to cook but I watched her as she made the lattice top on a pie once and thought she was a supernatural artist or something. Regular folks don't cook like that, right? Well, regular folks do/did cook like that and I and going to make it my mission to prove it is still possible. Now, I don't encourage pie crust making for anyone who is pushed for time. From start to finish, this meal took me almost 2 hours to prepare and cook. I do suggest you do it, though. You can make two crusts at once so you are really cutting your time in half if you budget time like you do your grocery funds and pantry supplies.

My advice, though, is to follow some really good instructions - I obviously recommend listening to Irma and Caroline (who constantly whispered in my ear to not overwork the fat) but that is probably impossible for you so there is a dude online (Drew) who has some pretty great instructions. Check him out here

For the sake of not infringing on copyrights, I will not transcribe JoC's recipe for flaky pie crust but encourage you to pick up a copy of this "kitchen bible" and try it out or at least check out Drew's Blog.

Here is the play-by-play for the quiche which only takes a couple of minutes to pull together if you are using a ready-made crust:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

If you aren't into the from scratch crust, I will allow you to buy a ready-made crust. Either way, just make sure that you pre-bake it and then brush it with
1 Egg Yolk, lightly beaten

Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat is starting to render but not crispy,
4 ounces of bacon, cut into 1 inch sectionsPlace on a cloth to drain.

For the Custard; beat together
3 Large Eggs (I had farm fresh and they weren't as large as store ones so I used 4 whole eggs and 1 egg white)
3/4 C Milk *you can use Soy
3/4 C Plain Yogurt or Sour Cream
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Pepper
1 Pinch freshly grated Nutmeg

Place the bacon onto the pie crust and then pour on the custard mixture.

Cook for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and it doesn't jiggle.

As stated in JoC, original Quiche Lorraine didn't have cheese so ours didn't either. Next time, I will try it lactose free and use soy yogurt instead of sour cream.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say that mine took much longer than the prescribed 35 minutes - it was more like 45 and mine also fell. It is probably because I used the soy milk and fat free sour cream. The original recipe called for heavy cream or half and half but I went with soy milk and sour cream.

I am still recommending this adjusted recipe because it was really tasty and stayed together in spite of the fact that there was a pool of clear liquid where the water separated from the soy milk or sour cream in the center. In fact, I declared it a disaster and immediately thought of the beautiful but dry turkey on The National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. If you prefer to go with Irma's original recipe, you would use 1 1/2 C Cream or Half and Half or half milk and half cream.
Lucky for us, it was just fine and it looked okay too. You can judge for yourself, though.

As a footnote, my confidence in pastry cooking has been bolstered after my successful flaky yet tender crust. DELICIOUS! I also think that Yankee Candle should come out with a scent of Home Made Pie Crust Quiche Lorraine (buttery crust, bacon, egg...)few things smell bettr than that!

1 comment:

  1. My family loves quiche...I've never had luck with a scratch crust, though. Time to try again :)