Quiche 2
Photos by donna
[I’m on a blog break from 5/17 through 5/31, so I’m putting up favorite food posts from the archives, this one on quiche published last July]

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 (find the recipe 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

29 Wonderful responses to “How To Make Quiche”

  • My Kitchen in the Rockies

    I bake a lot of Quiches. I have friends and guests that demand for me to bake it for dinner when they visit. I fully agree with you to always prepare your own crust. It makes a big difference in taste.

  • Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

    I’ve always baked my quiches in pie pans, but this version looks so much more luxe. The sheer height is impressive and elegant — what a stately slice of quiche!

  • captainquiche

    I’m curious, anyone know why I can’t use a springform pan? I thought thats’ what you were supposed to use, and just bought one for that purpose 🙁

    • Sherry Bellamy

      There is no reason not to use a springform pan, I’ve been making quiche in one for years.

      Very, very good quiche, I might add.

  • Charles

    Quiche was a French farmer’s lunch – a rustic dish relatively easily and quickly prepared by his wife. To be true to the original, the pastry should be firm with no risk of what I call “end droop” on a slice.

    200 grams of flour (mellow pastry blend by King Arthur works very well) to 100 grams of butter rolled to fit a 9″ pastry tin (rolled to about 10 1/2″ diameter) will result in the perfect thickness of the ‘crust.’ Pastry dough, in the French tradition, IS NOT FLAKY, nor should it overly thin in this application. Through fraissage, the butter should be completely incorporated with no visible ‘pieces’ remaining.

  • Stephanie

    What exactly is the difference between a springform and a ring mold pan?

    • Sherry Bellamy

      Technically, a so-called “ring mold” is just a cylindrical shape with no bottom. In other words….it’s just the straight sides of a pan with no bottom. Think springform with no spring, and no base. (Not to be confused with the OTHER pan called a ring mold, which is a pan that forms food into a ring. This was a popular shape for jellied salads and so forth, and it’s dandy for old fashioned rice or noodle rings into which you pour your nice retro creamed chicken. Yum.)

      I’ll just go right out there and say that in my opinion, the whole ring-mold thing is unnecessary. Not that I think it’s wrong, but it’s not a requirement when making a quiche. (The idea is that a pie pan will result in an unevenly baked product; some of the custard becoming overcooked due to the varying depths caused by sloping sides and/or that a pie pan isn’t deep enough.

      In addition, the use of a ring mold is supposed to result in a better bottom crust due to the pastry being directly on the sheet pan that the ring mold is sitting on, instead of being sealed within a closed pan.

      I use a springform pan, and I’ve also used a deep-dish pyrex pie plate, both with excellent results. Both have a depth of two inches. One does have to pay close attention to oven temperature whatever pan one uses…..low and slow is my method 325, or less for pyrex.

      Also, I personally don’t get my eggs frothy for a quiche. I’m trying for a smooth custard (think creme brulee texture) with only nuggets of bacon and onion to disturb the peace. No bubbles in my quiche.

  • Karen Downie Makley

    It’s one of my husband’s favorite dinners, so I make variations on the quiche theme all the time…just caught him scrounging in the fridge for the last piece of a quiche with a Mexican-inspired flavor profile. The egg is endlessly adaptable.

  • Darren

    I use the Fat Daddio 9×2 cake pan with removable bottom. It’s like a quiche/tart pan, but made with much heavier material (aluminum, I believe) and much deeper. Works great. Also a square cake pan with removable bottom works well for brownies and square cakes. It eliminates the need for parchment paper and requires little oil or greasing.

  • Jeff

    I use a Parrish Magic Line 9 x 2 Aluminum Cake Ring ($10) with great success when making the Bouchon quiche recipe.

  • luis

    Kish is a great dish that always turns out for me. Extremelly versatile as Michael suggests and just a joy to make. You can even make it without the crust. But the home made crust is fun to make and adds a lot of character to the dish. The way I think of it is without the crust is a good side dish to any protein. With the crust it becomes a main dish in itself.
    Ratio rules….Ever since I read that book first thing I think off when someone talks cooking or recipes to me… is what is the ratio?
    Ratio, ratio, and ratio … after that..is skill which I have very little…. but it improves with hard work. The more you cook the better you cook….

  • Pat

    Why couldn’t you even use a saute pan? One of my Calphalon dutch ovens came with a lid that is not quite domed, but is about 2″ deep and has handles on either side. I have used it to make deep dish pizzas and a smallish paella. A cast iron pan could work, too; might be tricky on crust, though.

    • Chris K

      While it makes a fine corn bread, cast iron wouldn’t work in this application. It retains too much heat and would overbake the crust – even after you pull it from the oven.

      Never tried a sauté pan, but I expect it would yield the same result. Maybe copper, but who uses those anymore?

      You’re better off using a very light weight vessel that absorbs and disperses heat quickly.

      I’m going with the folks who use springform pans here.

      • luis

        Chris you are very right…. cast iron is not the thing to use here…. but it’s much more than that. For instance a microwave is regarded like a blowtorch to anything egg… but Not so!. If I turn my microwave down to 20% and bump up the cooking time to say 7~10 mins… with over the counter microwave egg gizmos… I can hard boil two eggs to perfection.
        There is such a vast array of new cooking utensils that I am thinking of junking my radiant heat range alltogether and replacing it with a 115 hz cooking rack. Ideally it would accomodate an radiant/microwave oven. A nu wave oven an Induction burner with metal overlay… an a crockpot/sousvide station. and a gas fired wok station that could work with a wok or a saute pan. I would give up induction for a nice gas fired burner. But thirty inches is a bitch to fit all the stuff in… On the upside we live in a technology rich age which offers lots and lots of options and gives traditional chefs the willies…..so much is been thrown at them….It’s not easy…

        • luis

          OOOPS…. what I meant to say folks is that I have been thinking all day about doing a kish in the microwave at 20% for however long it takes….crustless that is. As far as I know the microwave is not good on pie shells… but call that advance studies stuff….. baby steps…first we make superior custard then we worry about crusts and other….

  • Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    I’ve never made a quiche in anything BUT a 10′ pie plate and; probably never will! I love this dish; the first I ever made with a French name, so it’s rustic origins were lost on me, as I thought at 24 I had achieved a pinnacle of cooking prowess!

    It’s always a favorite and love it has survived without being relegated to fad status. For me, it’s a great item when I want to use up something in the fridge; recently served a smoked salmon guiche that’s now on my ‘to be repeated’ list.

    • luis

      B, don’t stress about it.. I suspect there isn’t a single culture in the planet that doesn’t have a “kish” dish going on.

      When you consider eggs are 60 cal per…. what is not to like and enjoy? True…40 of the calories come from fat but….still.. Kish, Tortilla, Omelett pie…by any name…This is a variation of dishes that scores a serious dish that is versatile and fun to cook.

  • bunkycooks

    I will never again make a quiche in a pie dish after seeing this post! It has been awhile since I have made quiche or ordered it in a restaurant, perhaps because there is not much to them! This method creates a real dish worthy of preparing.

  • Adam Paul

    I made this quiche last night, and it was definitely a cut above my normal quiches (Joy of Cooking recipe w/pre-made pie crust). Much better texture in the tall spring-form, and of course the home-made crust (half leaf lard, half butter) was an improvement.

  • Delishhh

    I make a lot of quiches for brunch and breakfasts. I have tried many receipes and i belive that the key ingredient is dijon mustard. See my recipe here: http://delishhh.com/?p=597 somehow ever since i found this out, i can’t have a quiche without it. You should try it out.

  • Nancy Singleton Hachisu

    I hadn’t made quiche since the ’70’s, when I tasted a flat style quiche at a farmhouse in the Dordogne several years ago. The farmwife made the typical faux puff pastry (pâte de ménage), rolled it out thin and draped the pastry over one of those immense teflon tart pans. She strew a handful or so of chopped farm ham and filmed over a mixture of about 4 eggs with a generous glurp of farm cream. Sprinkled with Gruyère it baked up to a golden puff in a hot oven. I see your point about the custard in thick quiche, but somehow the spareness in a thin one is also appealing. I’ll try it your way when I get some more cheese. Thanks, Michael.

  • Casey Angelova

    Quiche is one of the things that I do well. Once I mastered the pate brisee, the rest was a cake walk. My husbands favorite is corn and leek, using freshly husked corn of course.

  • David

    My recipe is very similar to this but Quiche should have ingredients thru the entire slice, not just at the bottom.

  • lex petras

    I have been making this quiche ever since first finding it in the Bouchon cookbook, it is fantastic, but I do have one problem that keeps coming up. About half the time I end up with a blowout once the quiche is in the oven…there is nothing more heart breaking than spending two hours making onion confit, meticulously following every instruction per mixing, cooling, forming, filling…than to gaze into my oven and see all my lovely filling leaking away from my ring mold, the top of my quiche sagging away in the center… I’ve started the convection when I see this happening to try and seal the leak, and this does seem to help, but I feel as if I must be missing some step…can anyone help?

  • ruhlman

    it is indeed a sad sad sight. no sure fire remedies. i save some dough and patch any cracks after the crust is blind baked.