(Updated From May 10, 2014)
Here’s your one-dish make-ahead meal that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even if you’ve never made a quiche before, following these easy steps and secrets will make you feel like a pro, and you’ll make the perfect quiche every time.
- Why a Pie Crust Shield is Essential to the Perfect Quiche
- 5 Keys to the Perfect Quiche
- The Four Secrets to a Perfect Quiche
- Nine Perfect Quiche Recipes
Why a Pie Crust Shield is Essential to the Perfect Quiche
A quiche is a custard, made of eggs. The eggs have to set to have a firm, smooth filling. But if you bake it too long, you have a tough, rubbery filling.
That’s where your pie crust shield comes in. See the tender, thin edges of the crust bake faster than the filling. You need to deflect the heat away from those tender edges so that the filling has time to cook without burning your crust.
The only way to do that is with a pie crust shield, an aluminum ring that deflects the heat. That’s why it’s essential. Now you don’t have to choose between a burnt crust and a runny filling.
Your pie crust shield will be valuable with other pies too—no more tin foil wrapped onto your pumpkin pie crust!
Now that we’ve discussed the most essential part of the perfect quiche, let’s move on to the secrets to a perfect quiche.
Secret #1: The Right Ratio of Eggs to Dairy.
The eggs need to be diluted with milk or cream, but if you use too much dairy, there will not be enough proteins from the eggs to set the quiche. The right ratio of milk to eggs allows the protein in the eggs to coagulate and set up a firm structure for the quiche. You need to have the right ratio of eggs to dairy to get a silky, smooth filling. The right ratio is two eggs for every one cup of dairy. A four-egg quiche should have 2 cups of milk or cream or half and half.
Secret #2: Baking the Quiche Until it is Just Right.
As stated, a quiche relies on the coagulation of the egg proteins to set into a firm pie filling. A mixture of egg whites and egg yolks coagulates at 165 degrees. These same proteins become tough and the quiche becomes watery at 185 degrees. So your target temperature is 170 degrees.
The secret of a well-baked quiche is a thermometer. To test for doneness, insert a thermometer right in the center of the quiche halfway through the filling. When the temperature reaches 170 degrees, remove the quiche from the oven. If you let it cook longer than that, the temperature of the filling toward the edges where the filling sets first may be over 185 degrees.
Secret #3: Avoiding a burnt quiche crust.
By the time the center of the quiche reaches 170 degrees, the crust may be overcooked, even burnt.
The secret of avoiding a burnt quiche crust on a quiche is to protect the crust. A pie crust shield or aluminum folded around the edges of the pie is usually necessary to protect the protruding edges of the crust of the quiche. Both reflect heat. A pie crust shield is easier to use than aluminum foil which always seems to fall off or protrude into the filling.
Opposite to burning the crust, you also don’t want it coming out soggy. A dark pie pan absorbs heat and bakes the crust better, and similar to custards or fruit pies, they are preferable for avoiding soggy crusts for a quiche. A light pan, especially a stainless steel pan, reflects heat and will end up burning the pie crust by the time the quiche is cooked to 170 degrees.
If you want a perfect and easy crust every time, we recommend using our Professional Pie Crust Mix that many bakeries across the US use. It’s so easy to make this pie crust, and it always tastes great.
Secret #4: Adding the right amount of cheese.
Cheese performs two functions in our quiche: It delivers flavor and adds fat that contributes to a pleasing “mouth feel” and substance. We prefer a cup of grated cheese in a four-egg quiche but admittedly, the amount of cheese is a matter of taste. For us, less than a cup of cheese makes the quiche taste light and with insufficient substance. If you use cream with its high-fat content, you can use less cheese.
All else is a matter of taste and preference: what meats and vegetables you add, what seasonings, and what cheese that you add.
Nine Perfect Quiche Recipes
You and your family will love these quiche recipes. There’s not a lot of prep time, and you can bake them with confidence. These are professionally developed recipes thoroughly tested in our test kitchen.
Enjoy these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be baked ahead and chilled overnight. Add a salad or some fruit and you have the perfect meal.
1 pie crust shell
4 large eggs
2 cups half and half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8to 1/2 teaspoon seasonings (optional)
1 cup prepared vegetables or meat
1 cup grated Swiss or cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the oven rack on the lower 1/3.
- Form the crust in a nine-inch pan.
- Whisk together the eggs, half and half, salt, pepper, and seasonings.
- Stir in your choice of meat and vegetables and grated cheese. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell.
- Bake until the internal temperature of the filling is at least 165 degrees but not more than 185 degrees (about 45 minutes).
- 1 single-crust pie shell
- 6 large slices of bacon, about 6 ounces
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- dash of pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese, about 6 ounces
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Bake the pie shell at 450 degrees for about ten minutes or until it just starts to turn brown on the edges. Do not prick the pie shell with a fork. It will help the pie shell keep its shape during baking if you line the shell with aluminum foil and then place beans, rice, or pie shell weights in the shell to hold the crust down.
- While the pie shell is baking, cook the bacon in the microwave oven until crisp. Cut the bacon into small chunks.
- In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and flour together. Add the other ingredients, including the bacon. Pour the mixture into the hot pie shell.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If the shell starts to brown too quickly, cover the edges with aluminum foil.
Other Great Quiche Recipes
- My Favorite Seafood Quiche
- Broccoli, Corn, and Bell Pepper Quiche
- Spinach, Bacon, and Swiss Quiche
- Mushroom Quiche
- New Potato, Ham, and Cheddar Quiche
- Corn and Cheddar Quiche
- Apple, Bacon, and Cheddar Quiche
Quiche: A Great Make-Ahead Meal
The best thing about quiche recipes is that they all have the same base: eggs, dairy, salt, and pepper all poured into a pie crust. That also makes it a great make-ahead meal. It will save you a ton of time! You can double or triple the batch of quiche batter, working only with the base, separate it into different pie pans, and add in your preferred mix-ins with different goodies in each one.
You can stick all three of them in the oven at once and have great meals throughout the week when you stick them in the fridge. They’re perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and you’ll never get tired of them because there are so many variations to choose from.