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.