Quiche 2
Photos by donna
On Wednesday I flew to Washington to make a quiche at the restaurant Proof for a segment on "All Things Considered" with one of the show's new hosts, Guy Raz.  Guy said he read the Slate review of the book, which called my book Ratio "fascinating and pompous," and was intrigued.  So he and his producer, Phil Harrel, requested a dish that combined two ratios.  Quiche immediately came to mind, using both the 3-2-1 pie dough ratio (I've lost track of the number of people who have written to thank me for getting them over their fear of pie dough) and the custard ratio (2 parts liquid, 1 part egg).

I'm using the NPR story (listen, read, comment here), as an excuse again to talk about the world sexiest pie.  But, it's only sexy if it's the right depth, which gives you the opportunity to create a texture that is…yes…voluptuous.  You can put anything in it—sauteed mushrooms, confited pork belly!, sauteed spinach, chorizo and roasted peppers—but the custard is the diva.

You need a 9-inch ring mold that's 2 inches high (photo of quiche being poured below; recipe on the npr site).  This has always bothered me because how many home cooks have a big ring mold? For some reason, the band from a springform pan will not work, don't know why.  But I'm thinking that if you have a nine-inch cake pan and line it with parchment paper, that would work.  It's still critical to make sure you patch any holes that may appear when you blind bake the crust.  But if you don't have a ring mold, that's what I'd use.

As I've said before, America lost a great dish when someone convinced us we could make a proper quiche in a pie mold or worse, a store-bought pie crust. As I learned when writing the Bouchon cookbook, there are few dishes that can match this one for texture, richness and sheer pleasure both of cooking and of eating.

Quiche B&W

46 Wonderful responses to “The Best Quiche”

  • Patrick

    I really enjoyed the interview. So, how was the restaurant?

  • Beanie

    Mmmmmm…Fresh leeks in March with bacon and gruyere…

    Only thinkg is, I use my deep springform pan all the time for this. Is that not supposed to work?

  • Laura

    Oh one of my favorite dishes ever! I am firmly convinced that Boucheron makes the best quiche in New York, but maybe I need to throw my own ratio-inspired one into the mix and see how it stacks up. By the way, when people start thinking your books are pompous I think that means you’ve officially made it.

  • Andy Coan

    I dearly hope you’re having some new business cards printed: “Michael Ruhlman: Fascinating and Pompous” 🙂

    I have, I must confess, made “quiche” in store-bought pie crusts…it’s good, but it’s so different from the real thing it’s hard to call it quiche, isn’t it? I should remedy that, shouldn’t I?

  • Donna

    Thanks for all the Happy Birthday wishes

    And since Michael spilled the beans it’s only fair that I mention that his birthday is tomorrow

  • Bbq Dude

    We ate at Proof recently. What a fantastic place, with a really fantastic charcuterie plate. So far my best meal of 2009. Sour cherry pate? Yes, please!

  • sygyzy

    I also thought you could make quiche is a different pan but like TK says, a proper quiche pan must have tall enough walls for the custard to develop flavors correctly.

  • Devon

    Quiche is a favorite in my family showing up at BBQ’s and Thanksgiving alike, but we always use store bought crust. I think it’s time to take it to the next level.

  • Mimi

    I’m so embarrassed. I just made the anti-quiche. It was made in a 9″ pie pan with a sourdough yeasted tart dough. The funny thing is… it was damn good!

    I will need to learn to make a proper quiche. Between Donna’s photography and your cooking that picture is enticing!!

  • Natalie Sztern

    A Happy Birthday to both of u. I have stopped counting after 25 and my husband says that is when my maturity ended.

    Quiche is my husbands favorite food, so I guess real men DO eat quiche right michael? :}

  • Natalie Sztern

    BTW you cannot imagin the frustration I am feeling as I am moving this Saturday and all my stuff has been packed including my pots, pans etc and my Ratio Book.

    I can barely read my blogs cause it will be a week until I am able to get back to normal life and cook so these posts are pure torture

  • Victoria

    Happy Birthday, Donna!

    M.R., I’ve been looking at that quiche recipe in Bouchon for a long time. (It’s one of the cookbooks I have two copies of – one in the city and one in the country.) I actually have the requisite ring in the country, so maybe this weekend will be the time I finaly take the plunge.

    Lovely post.

  • Rhonda


    My original plan was to leave a separate “Happy Birthday” message for you, tomorrow.

    My schedule may not allow for this and it is more important for me to share my best wishes with you and remind you how much you and Donna are loved and respected.

    Thank you, Ruhls!


    I hope your trusty Assistant, James, steps up to the plate and makes some more Choco-Bowls.



    p.s. – I love love love the efficiency of this family…

  • luis

    I make this stuff regularly. Specially week ends. Any time I have chorizo and I do it in a caserole dish with high sides. Only thing I have to do is spray the thing with non-stick or olive oil etc… and I am good to go. The spanish version I make uses NO CRUST.
    As far as I am concerned the crust adds nothing to it. One thing I do, is to I chop the potatoes into cubes and microwave them in a microwave covered dish to get them started.
    Then I chop the peppers and onions and garlic and all veggies I want to toss into it. This is one of the best vehicles for savoring spices, meats and veggies…I can pack so much flavor into this dish that it’s always fun to make.

  • chef gui

    I heard the NPR segment. It was great. I even RTed it on twitter.

    Photos look good. Glad Donna is back to work!

    Talk soon.

  • Josie

    Now I am conflicted, but I think I may try this with my springform ring… or maybe in a casserole dish of some sort? Is there a rule that a quiche must be round? It looks amazing.

    Happy Birthday to all 🙂

  • Chris

    I used to make proper quiche nearly once a week, but life got in the way of making crusts that often and like Luis, I switched to a no-crust quiche. I do it two ways, depending on what kind of potatoes we have. In the late winter and early spring, when we’re preparing the garden for planting and digging up lots of grape-size potatoes, I just throw those whole in the bottom of a buttered 10″ Corningware quiche pan. Otherwise, line the bottom of the pan with thin slices of potatoes. German Butterball are the best for this, their buttery flavor is reminiscent of a proper crust.

  • Chad

    Happy birthday. I hope it is a great day for you and yours.

    I enjoy the site very much – thanks – great ideas and techs to help cook better and not be afraid to try new things. Much appreciated.

  • mary lynn

    I went through the same thing and finally discovered that the pan is called a cheesecake pan with a removable bottom. All sorts of baking sites have them. Even Amazon and food network. They come in 2″ and 3″ depth. mary lynn

  • marlene

    Funny, I just made the quiche from Ratio yesterday. It is chilling in the fridge and will be lunch tomorrow.

    Happy Birthday, Donna and Michael!

  • carri

    Happy Birthday to a couple of Leos…we know who runs that house, now don’t we? Thanks to both of you for all the great inspiration! Have a roaring good year!

  • Maria, Fresh Eats

    I’ve never made quiche before and am inspired to do so now. Looks beautiful.

    And happy birthday to Michael and Donna, from one Leo to, well, two others.

  • Cookin' Canuck

    Now THAT is a quiche! I ordered your book and I am looking forward to a “fascinating but pompous” read.

    Happy Birthday to both of you!

  • Ms. Glaze

    I was just talking with the morning pastry chef at work on collaborating over some of the lunch Family Meals. Quiche was the first thing to come to mind. Thanks so much for this! I’ll let you know how it’s received!

  • Allan

    For those looking for the 9×2 mold I found mine at Sur La Table. They are listed under aluminum cake rings.

  • Lorrie@ReadNEat

    Happy Birthday to you both!
    Thanks for bringing to mind an old favorite. I see bacon, mushrooms, spinach and a 2-inch round in my future.

  • Wilma de Soto

    Happy Birthday to you Donna and Michael.

    Have always been asked, “How can two Leos co-exist so famously?”

    I am married to a Leo, (Aug.1) and I was born on 7/23.

    I suppose if WE can do it…


  • luis

    The key to making great quiche is the choping of the potatoes and placing them in a microwave dish and nuking them for 5 or 6 minutes. No fat required.
    Depending on what other veggies I use I may microwave them a bit as well. The chorizo gets a good pan fry to rid it of as much fat as possible.
    The flavor comes from spices and veggies then I assemble everything in a casserole dish. the only fat in it is a bit of half and half or cream with eggs. It oven roasts beautifully and stays fairly together once you bake it at 350 for 30 min or so…till the skewer comes out dry.

  • Kate in the NW

    Happy B-day – mine was last week too. 🙂 As my daughter so kindly says, now I’m forty-eleven.

    The quiche looks great, but since it hit 115 yesterday in the valley where the barn is, I was considering cooking it on the pavement under the truck. NOT in my house…at least until October.

    In case you’re seeking ideas for blog topics, how about something on beat-the-summer-heat no-cook foods/meals? Something more interesting than fruit & cheese (though I can certainly never get enough of that). Food prep in 90 or 100-degree+ can be a real challenge – and I know you love a good food prep challenge…

  • Jason Adams

    I have made the Bouchon quiche in both the spring form pan and the 9″ ring mold. They both work just fine. The tip I would like to add is to have your custard ready to go and pour it into the HOT crust – do not let the crust cool. This allows the custard to set quickly and helps prevents leaks and soggy crust. Here is a picture of a quiche baked in the spring form pan.


  • Fran

    My husband and I heard the npr story, thought yum and tried to put it out of our minds. But there it was, quiche, quiche, quiche on the brain. We were in a lunch place that serves the usual commercially prepared quiche, but I knew it wouldn’t be the same. Then we looked at the recipe on npr’s site and knew I had to make it.

    I had some pie dough left over from cherry turnovers and a bit of bacon… I had enough stuff to make a small quiche using a 6″ springform. It was the best quiche we ever had! A quiche to dream about. In gratitude, I ordered Ratio right away. Thank you!

  • Michael McCullen

    Made the quiche from the Bouchon cookbook last night, chilled it overnight, and served it this morning with fresh hashbrowns and good coffee. Best quiche I have ever made and I’ve been cooking professionally for some time…easiest method for good pate brisee’ I’ve seen. Simple and effective. Man that was good.