May 9, 2011 § 3 Comments
I have a recipe journal that I started several years ago (2002). I decided at the beginning that I would only put “special” recipes in it. For example, what I made for my first dinner party (San Francisco, pork tenderloin, berry Napoleons for dessert). These days, though, a recipe has what it takes to make the book if I use it over and over again. The recipes have to be good, of course, but I include some b/c they really speak about a particular era. I’m sort of documenting our lives with the food we’ve eaten.
It’s wasn’t a new idea when I started in 2002, nor is it now, but I love the way recipes can add texture to a story (see Molly Wizenberg’s or Ruth Reichl’s books), so I’m hoping it will give my kids (and maybe their kids) some insight into what I was thinking when they were young. I’m sure they will wonder. Doesn’t every child, at some point, say, “what could my parents have been thinking?”, or wonder what life was actually like for them?
(Plus! I love having recipes that are from another era And, while I’m on the subject, I love the NAMES of old recipes. Recipes, now, are like this: Chocolate cake with Swiss Meringue frosting. Then: Hummingbird cake. I think it’s time to bring back charming little recipe names. We’ve become too technical. I’m sure for the sake of internet ingredient searches or something. Ok. Sorry. I’m finished with my rant-y side note.)
Anyway, this quiche has made the book. This is what I wrote about it: “…for a while it was one of five dishes we rotated through for dinner. Monotonous? Yes. But, we had SO many eggs, b/c this was an era when we had at least 6 hens in the yard at all times. The eggs add up quickly.” So, this made good use of excess eggs from our chickens, yes, and it can be made in a little over an hour, but honestly, it would never have made the cut unless it tasted, well, how it tastes. Creamy. Luxurious. You sort of want to eat the entire pie in a single sitting, if that gives you an idea of what we are dealing with here.
I can’t count how many times I’ve made this, or a version of it. Dinners, brunches, Mother’s day lunches. It never fails, and I’m assuming that’s because of the loads of butter (the crust), cream, sour cream, and cheese it contains. It’s not for the faint of heart (literally), and, truth be told, probably has no business showing up more than once every couple of weeks in anyone’s diet. My official stance is: small portions make almost everything ok. Let’s hope I’m right for the sake of future generations.
adapted from Le Pain Quotidien’s recipe via Smitten Kitchen
***You can change this recipe to fit your tastes. Keep the cream, sour cream and egg proportions the same, and you can pretty much fill it with anything/any cheese. If you use greens, saute the liquid out of them first. If it’s fresh vegetables, cook (boil or roast) them a little first.
2 cups sliced yellow onion
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch (non GMO is great if you can swing it)
6 tablespoons butter
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 cups diced ham ( 1/4 -inch dice)
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Saute onions in the olive oil over low heat for 30 minutes, or until caramelized, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and cool.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Add the diced butter and mix with a fork or your finger tips until combined. Add one egg; mix (with the fork) until dough forms.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate and press to remove any air bubbles. Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (you can cheat a little on this if you must, but get it in there for a little while).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
While the shell chills, mix the heavy cream and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining three eggs. Add a pinch each of nutmeg, salt and pepper and combine to form a batter.
Remove the quiche shell from the refrigerator and spread the onion evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the ham, and then the cheese, over the onions. Pour in the egg mixture and place the quiche in the oven.
6. Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.