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   In Alyce’s Kitchen: SHEET PAN CLASS UPCOMING MAY 22: 10 AM-1PM. $40. Message me or leave a comment if you’d like a spot. Includes lunch! Will repeat in June as needed since a few of you already can’t make that date, but want to make sheet pan meals with me. Can’t wait to cook with you!

Dorie Greenspan and I are in total agreement over one thing:  quiche must return to the everyday American table on a regular basis! Not that I know Dorie personally– though we’ve exchanged a few comments here and there on social media–but when I read her recent column about quiche in the Washington Post, I felt my heart strings pull just a little tighter.  I know an ally when I read one.  YES!

Learn to make my 9-10-inch quiche using the basic spring brunch cooking class post.

I’ve been happily teaching quiche-making for several years now and just last week taught a big Spring Brunch class that focused on baby, mama, and papa bear quiches, along with making cheese. I’ve had students from age 4 – age 84+. All are laughing happy cooks when they learn to make a quiche. See below.

Baby quiches are my individual quiches made in muffin tins (scroll to bottom of post), mama bear are the basic 9 or 10-inch, 6-8 serving quiches (photo/link above), and papa bear quiches are the ones this post is dedicated to–great for a big group.  I’m attached to quiche for these reasons:

  1. They’re great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, starters, dinner, and midnight Champagne. Quiche travels well. There’s your picnic.
  2. Hot, warm, room temperature, cool, or cold:  they’re all the right temperatures for quiche. Make them ahead. Refrigerate or freeze them. Just defrost and enjoy.
  3. Nearly whatever you have can go in a quiche.  A dab of mushrooms and a little bowl of asparagus?  Just add cheese and custard, et voila:  dinner!  4 shrimp, a jar of sun dried tomatoes? Why not?  Think of quiche a bit like a pizza with custard.
  4. Quiche can say PARTY unlike anything else. Who doesn’t like anything in a crust?
  5. You can memorize the proportions, etc., and make a 9-inch quiche anytime and anywhere:  3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups half and half, 1/2 cup filling, 1/2 cup grated cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake half hour 350.
  6. Can’t make dough?  You can buy it or bake the quiche without it. This is a forgiving dish. No one has to make dough unless you want to, though I have instructions should you change you mind.

ABOUT TODAY’S BIG QUICHE: Otherwise known as Quiche for a Crowd, this sheet pan full of breakfast goodness features easy pat-in crust and will provide up to 18 servings. It’s simple to make ahead: cool, wrap, and refrigerate a day before you need it. Which leaves you Sunday to throw together a salad or side, lay out a mimosa bar, fix a huge pot of coffee, and enjoy your guests.  Try this:

QUICHE FOR A CROWD

15-18 servings                                       Makes one 13” x 18” sheet pan.   

This is the basic recipe good for all times of day. Variations are below for fillings and crusts. While not difficult, it does take a little bit of time. You won’t be busy every minute, but allow at least two hours due to chilling and pre-baking crust. The quiche is tasty at any temperature, so once it’s done, time isn’t critical. Easy to make a day ahead: cool completely on rack, wrap well and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or take out and unwrap an hour or two ahead of time to come to room temperature if desired. Need warm? Rewarm briefly, uncovered — 10 – 15 minutes — in a 325 degrees F oven.  Read through before beginning.

  1. Make the Pat-in-the-Pan Dough for the Crust*
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly and finely ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups (2 ½ sticks) very cold, salted butter–cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) grated Romano cheese

Place all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process, pulsing, until like coarse cornmeal. * Pat into the bottom of a 13” x 18” sheet pan—not up the sides. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20-30 minutes until light gold in color. Cool on a rack while you make the filling.

*Or cut butter and cheese into flour in a bowl using a pastry blender or two knives.

2. Make the Basic Bacon Filling:

  • 1 pound bacon fried and crumbed (not too crispy), drained
  • 2 large onions, diced, cooked until tender, but not browned ,in 2 tablespoons bacon fat—pat lightly with paper towels to remove any extra grease
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 3-4 grates freshly ground nutmeg or a pinch of purchased ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup EACH grated Gruyere cheese and Very Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup salsa, garnish
  1. Set aside the cooked bacon and onions separately.
  2. In a blender or with electric mixture, process or whip eggs-cayenne. Set aside.

**Can use 3 cups (total) mixture of whole milk and heavy cream. Some people like evaporated milk.

3. Add the filling to the crust, bake, and serve:

Spread the cooked onions evenly onto the baked and cooled crust. Add the bacon evenly on top of the onions. Sprinkle with the 2 cups grated cheese. Place an empty sheet pan on bottom oven rack. Put the pan with the crust , onions, bacon, and cheese on the middle rack and carefully pour the egg-cream mixture over all evenly. Gently slide both racks back into oven. Bake quiche about 35 minutes or until the custard is set and it’s light golden on top. Let cool 10-12 minutes, cut into 15 -18 pc. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, cool, or cold garnished with a spoonful of salsa.

VARIATIONS: FILLINGS

Google quiche. Look at all the different varieties. Have your way with it! Quiche, as I see it is like pizza with custard. Whatever you have can go in it. Or try one of these simple ideas:

  1. MUSHROOMS: Saute 16 ounces of sliced mushrooms in some butter with garlic and/or onions and 1 teaspoon dried marjoram. Use in place of the bacon and the onions, if you choose not to use them.
  2. ASPARAGUS: 1 ½ pounds You can use the asparagus whole, but well- trimmed, pouring the custard over it and making sure there’s a little cheese leftover to put on top of it. You can also use it chopped and sautéed (leftovers?) on top of the bed of sautéed onions.
  3. ITALIAN SAUSAGE: 1 pound links. Gently fry 1-inch pieces of Italian sausage links. Place onbaked crust and pour the custard on top, finishing up with grated mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
  4. HAM: 1 pound, diced. Use ham in place of the bacon.
  5. SMOKED SALMON AND DILL: 1 pound sliced and diced. Saute a mixture of chopped shallots (2) and leeks (1) in olive oil or butter and sprinkle over baked crust. Top with the smoked salmon.. Use a great Swiss cheese. Flavor custard with ¼ cup minced fresh dill.

*VARIATIONS: DOUGH FOR CRUST

You can certainly use a basic double pâte brisée crust (paht-bree-SAY) for this, your own favorite pie dough recipe for a double-crust pie, the pre-made dough from the refrigerated section (Pillsbury), enough thawed and rolled puff pastry dough to fill the pan, or use the dough recipe below. It would probably work without crust at all, of course, as would most quiche. Take a chance and see what you think. You’ll most likely eat it one way or the other.

Another Alternate dough for crust:

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. sugar
11 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
6 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
For the crust: Sift flour, salt, and sugar together into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or 2 table knives, work butter and shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in 1⁄2 cup ice water, stirring with a fork until dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and quickly knead several times until dough is smooth. Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 16″× 21″ rectangle, ease into a 13″× 18″ half-sheet pan, and trim off excess. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°. Prick dough all over with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edge of crust begins to color and pull away from sides of pan, about 25 minutes. Remove weights and paper. Bake crust until lightly browned all over, about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven. Cool completely on a rack and use as indicated above.  ( alternate dough courtesy Saveur dot com)
  recipe adapted in part from kitchn.com and from my old friend Grace Herson
 ..

Need sides?..

MICROWAVED POTATOES, ONIONS, AND ASPARAGUS (Increase amounts accordingly. From my Dinner Place blog.)      photo below

MIXED BERRY SALAD WITH MINT from Martha Stewart

AVOCADO SALAD (More Time at the Table)       photo above

Need dessert?

Make my carrot cake cupcakes.

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IF YOU LIKE THIS, YOU MIGHT LIKE MY…

Individual Holiday Quiches–Gluten-Free (on my Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch for 12 post.)Sing a new song of peace and bake America great again, friends,

Alyce