Last year, our friends, Maribeth and Michael, hosted an impromptu and festive Easter Brunch. I volunteered to bring something eggy. The morning of the brunch, I looked at what I had in the fridge: eggs, cheese, and bacon, with green onions and kale growing in the backyard. I decided on quiches.
I had a Trader Joe’s pie crust in the freezer. All I needed from the grocery store was heavy cream. Easy-peasy. It doesn’t take much to make a quiche which is just a mixture of custard (eggs and cream), cheese, vegetables, bacon if desired, and pie crust. You can easily make do with what you have on hand: mushroom and onion, spinach and goat cheese, tomato and corn, whatever you have in the fridge. This week, I went for the kale and green onion version because once again, I had both growing in my winter garden.
The kale and green onions wintered-over under hoops covered with agricultural fabric as I described here.
Yield: This recipe makes 2 single-crust quiches.
2 9 inch pie crusts (I love Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts)
1 pound of bacon, crumbled
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped kale or spinach
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
10 large eggs, beaten with a fork or blender
4 cups whole milk (ok), or half-and-half (better), or heavy cream (best!)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
a pinch or two of freshly ground nutmeg
Mise en Place:
To prepare bacon:
Here’s an easy way to cook a pound of bacon without making a mess. Preheat oven to 375º. Place a sheet of parchment paper or foil on a 13 x 18-inch baking pan. Set the bacon on a cooling rack and place it over the lined baking pan. Cook bacon for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. When done, throw parchment paper in the trash as soon as it is cool enough to handle, before it has a chance to stick to the bottom of the pan. No messy splatter to deal with or dirty pans.
Wash and slice green onions. Wash, spin, and chop kale leaves.
Instructions for putting it all together:
Preheat oven to 425º.
To make the custard: beat eggs together first and then add cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Place a single pie crust in each pie plate. Flute edges to make them look pretty. If using Trader Joe’s brand, keep the plastic wrap on the crust while you roll it out and transfer it from the countertop to the pie plate.
Layer pie ingredients as follows:
Onions and Kale
Bake pies at 425º to ensure that the pie crusts cook. Undercooked, doughy crusts are not very appetizing. After 20 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 350º to cook the custard interior. When you reduce the heat, take pies out of the oven and line their edges with foil or pie plate shields to keep crust rim from burning. Bake for about 25-30 minutes more. A knife inserted in the center should come out clean. Note to self: purchase another 9″ pie crust shield– they are so much easier to use than foil.
Let quiche rest about 15 minutes before serving. You can make the day before and reheat in the oven.
How big IS that egg, or a few words about egg sizes.
In the olden days, farmers would gather eggs from their hen houses and use this Jiffy Way Egg Scale to measure the egg’s weight and grade, from small to extra large, for marketing purposes.
My friend, Patty, gave me this scale with the marketing logo “DeKalb Chix” printed on it. I treasure it!
Our chicken eggs range in size from medium to extra large, so often times I have to weight them to get the right amount of eggs for a recipe.
Medium to extra-large.
A little more or less volume won’t matter with a quiche, but it would definitely matter with a cake or pastry recipe where the ratio of dry to liquid ingredients needs to be accurate. This recipe called for 20 ounces. I use my modern digital scale for weighing!
The more you know…
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