| Quiche - The All Purpose Pie
By Julia Child
The quiche- that delicious, cheesy, open-faced custard pie invented by
some clever Alsatian cook - is a wonderfully easy first course or main
course that is fast to prepare and makes great eating.
It's quick to assemble because all you need on hand is the base - eggs and
milk - plus anything else: cheese, bacon, onions, canned pimiento,
leftover cooked vegetables, tomato sauce and so forth.
You can build from the bottom up with your own pie crust dough or a
homemade frozen shell formed earlier. Or use a frozen store-bough shell -
and offer no apologies. Or the other hand, you can bake any of the quiche
fillings in a plain dish and call it a custard. That's what a quiche is,
anyway - a custard in a pie shell.
So often you see people eat all the filling of an apple pie - or quiche -
but leave the bottom crust untouched. They don't even taste it, knowing
from sad experience that it's soggy. The solution: Pre-bake the empty
shell- well worth the time and really the only way to achieve a perfect
crust with tender crunch throughout.
Weight down store-bought shells before pre-baking with buttered foil and
dried beans. This keeps sides and bottom in place by bracing them.
A quiche filling is a flavoring that is held together with a custard -
that is, eggs and a liquid of some sort. The eggs slowly coagulate in the
oven, maintaining the rest of the ingredients in creamy suspension. You
don't want too much custard - just the right balance between it and the
garnish, whatever it may be. You can't be exact about measures, because
shells vary in depth. but you can calculate by the egg, adding more or
using less. FOR EACH "LARGE" EGG. Break the egg into a cup; add liquid
to reach the 1/2 cup level.
QUICHE LORRAINE - This is the original Alsatian model. It's bacon only
(no cheese) plus the custard, which is made of real cream that blends
deliciously with the smoky taste of the bacon. Try it - on one of those
days when you're slim as a scallion