Quiche, Any Way You Want It

September 20, 2019
19 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin. Prop stylist: Amanda Widis. Food stylist: Olivia Mack Mccool.
Author Notes

The best quiche has a tender, flaky crust, a silky, creamy custard, and, most of all, can be customized to no end.

We adapted this crust from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s game-changing cream cheese pie dough. Inspired by rugelach, it’s just about impossible to mess up. While we incorporated a smidge of whole-wheat flour for nuttiness (it goes great with the savory filling), you could swap in white whole-wheat or use all all-purpose. Par-baking the crust at a high temperature, then sealing it with egg white, sidesteps a soggy bottom.

Now, about the custard: Equal amounts of heavy cream and whole milk yield the smoothest, tastiest results. A ratio of 2 cups liquid to 5 eggs and 1 yolk creates rich, eggy flavor. And to avoid curdling (the most common pitfall when it comes to quiche), we have two means of insurance—first, whisking some flour into the custard, and second, baking at a low-and-slow temperature.

When it comes to mix-ins, try roasted or sautéed vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, squash, onion, mushrooms, asparagus), pan-fried breakfast meat (bacon, sausage, ham, pancetta), or even raw greens (Tuscan kale, baby arugula); all should be chopped into bite-size pieces or smaller. The amount of mix-ins will affect the amount of custard. If your mix-ins are very compact (say, caramelized onions or bacon bits), use a smaller volume; if they’re more chunky (like broccoli florets or squash pieces), use a larger volume. Fill the pie all the way (this creates the most stable crust) and, if you have any leftover, bake or microwave in a ramekin for a snack.

With respect to the cheese, you’ll want something that’s highly meltable with a confident flavor (like cheddar, gruyere, or young gouda). Or, do a mix! There are no rules.

This is great barely warm, at room temperature, or cold. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least a couple days. I like to eat it cold, but you could gently reheat it, bundled in foil, in a low-temperature oven. —Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 3 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Makes 1 (9-inch) pie
  • Crust
  • 1 cup (128 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, very cold, cubed
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water, very cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg white
  • Filling
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups mix-ins, depending on mix-in (see headnote)
  • 1 cup grated cheese (see headnote)
In This Recipe
  1. Make the crust: Combine the flours, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low just to combine. Add the cream cheese and mix on low until them cream cheese is mostly broken-down. Add the butter and mix on low until mostly incorporated and none of the pieces are bigger than a chickpea; this should take 30 seconds to 1 minute (if there are any stragglers, just stop the machine and smush the piece with your fingertips—don’t overmix). Combine the water and vinegar in a small glass and, with the machine running, pour in. As soon as the sides of the bowl are no longer dusty and clumps and curds begin to form (it should not form a cohesive ball—that’s too far), turn the mixer off; better to undermix versus overmix at this point. Remove the bowl and bring the dough into a ball with your hands. Wrap well in plastic wrap and form into a flat disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a couple days. (You can also freeze the dough for future quiches; just thaw in the fridge overnight.)
  2. Roll out and crimp the crust: On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch or so circle, then transfer to a 9-inch pie pan (not deep-dish), making sure the bottom corners are tightly pressed against the pan. Use scissors to trim the dough to an even 1-inch overhang. Fold the edge under itself. Use your fingers to press and even out the sides, making sure the bottom corners are tightly pressed against the pan. Crimp the edges however you’d like (I like using my left hand’s thumb and pointer finger as a guide, then crimping with my right hand’s pointer finger, to form ruffles). Stick in the freezer for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 days.
  3. Parbake the crust: Heat the oven to 400°F. Line the frozen crust with a square of parchment, fill with dried beans (or another pie weight), then set on a sheet pan. Bake on the lower rack for about 40 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the crust is starting to brown along the edges and the bottom no longer looks raw and doughy. While the crust is baking, use a fork to whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until it’s very loose. When the crust is done, remove the parchment and beans and prick the bottom and sides of the crust a few times with a fork. Brush the inside of the crust with the salted egg white, then return to the oven to bake for another minute to set.
  4. Remove the parbaked crust from the oven to cool, then lower the oven to 325°F and turn your attention to the custard.
  5. Make the custard: Combine the cream and milk in a bowl. Add the flour to another, smaller bowl, and add a splash (figure, 1 tablespoon or so) of the liquid. Stir with a fork or whisk until smooth. Repeat this (splash, stir, splash, stir) until the flour mixture is completely smooth and pourable. Pour into the bigger bowl of cream and milk and stir. Add the eggs, egg yolk, salt, and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
  6. Fill the quiche: Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle the mix-ins on top, spreading them out as much as possible (even scooching up the sides is fine), so that you can see the cheese and crust below. There should not be a packed-solid layer of mix-ins; the custard filling needs to be able to get through. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Slowly and evenly pour in the custard, taking it as high to the brim as possible. It should be on the verge of overflowing. If you have any leftover custard, bake it in a ramekin or microwave it as a snack.
  7. Bake the quiche for 55 to 65 minutes, or until it no longer shimmies when shook. (If the crust starts to brown too much mid-bake, you can carefully tent it with foil.) Let cool until warm before serving. It’s also great at room temperature and cold.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.