I decided a little while ago that I wanted to learn how to make quiche. And it’s super easy! Tonight, I made a “Rainbow Quiche” using this recipe from Taste of Home for dinner with the family. This is a vegetarian quiche, but it’d be pretty easy to add sausage or bacon. As something of a purist, I also made the pie crust from scratch using my handy-dandy Old Fashioned Pie Crust recipe from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (I’ll talk more about that in a bit). The only time consuming part of this entire process is chopping vegetables. I think I was chopping vegetables for about an hour and a half, which could be cut down to an hour.
I ended up with a CRAZY huge pile of vegetables, which I cooked and then put all of it into the pie crust, which forced a decreased amount of egg mixture in the dish. The problem with that is that the quiche didn’t hold itself up very well when being eaten. What did I learn? That yes, yes indeed is it important for all that egg to be in there and that it’s quite alright to not put all the vegetables in (they’d be eaten even if they weren’t in the quiche any way). Also, mushrooms excrete SO MUCH WATER. The pie crust was kind of drowning. In future, I recommend not using mushrooms, or allowing the mushroom juices to completely drain. (Oh, and I used about 3/4 cup of a mix of Colby Jack and Swiss cheese.)
About the pie crust. This is the same pie crust that is in the Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe that I wrote about a couple months back. Only this time, instead of a super dry and unworkable dough, I added about 3/4 tbsp of water extra into the dough as I was making it and produced the most amazingly easy-to-work-with dough I had ever made! With about ten minutes out of the refrigerator, the butter in the dough was just soft enough to allow the dough to stretch nicely. As ever, I still roll the dough out to about a 14-in diameter because my family, me included, prefer a thinner crust to a thicker one.
Since the pie crust recipe makes two 9-in pie crusts (or 1 9-in double pie crust), I needed to somehow manage to use the other pie crust within four days. Which meant that I might as well just use it on the same day that I use the other pie crust and the same day that I make dinner… I browsed through my Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook for a recipe that called for Old Fashioned Pie Crust (1/2 recipe)… lo and behold, I present to you, the Lemon Meringue Pie:
It definitely looks a lot better than it tastes. Mostly because the meringue hides the fact that I did not cook the lemon custard long enough prior to placing it in the pie crust. The lemon custard turned out obscenely liquid-y and overly sour for my parents’ taste. The recipe said to cook the lemon until it is shiny and of the same consistency as pudding. Only problem, I don’t really know what pudding feels like. I’ll buy myself a cup so I can texture-test in preparation for the next time I make a Lemon Meringue Pie. Undercooked is definitely my hypothesis as to why the lemon custard collapsed under the meringue (see sad picture below of the collapsed lemon custard).
The meringue on the other hand turned out quite nicely. Fluffy and airy! Even though I’m not the world’s biggest fan of using electrical mixing devices, in this case, a hand-held mixer is necessary. It took me about ten to fifteen minutes to get the hard peaks to form with a hand-held mixer. It would probably take half an hour to do it by hand! And the structure wouldn’t even be as nice either (also your forearm might decide to secede from your body if you did tried…). Egg whites are weird, awesome, and magical things. Six egg whites and some sugar made all that volume and more!