Tart-pan quiche easier than pie

Quiche, I’ve always believed, isn’t nearly as fussy as the name implies.

In my kitchen, it’s a go-to meal that can be assembled from assorted bits of produce, meat and cheese. If you have eggs in your refrigerator and refrigerated pie crust (I’m a cheater), you can have quiche in about an hour.

I recently realized, though, that quiche gets even easier if you swap a pie plate for a tart pan with removable bottom. This, admittedly, is not a new idea. In fact, most authentic French recipes for quiche call for using a tart pan.

But because I founded a kitchen with a classic American pie pan and only added a tart pan within the past couple of years, I just kept making my quiche the same, old way, covered in a 2007 post.

My inspiration for using a tart pan came from a Quick Fix recipe that ran in the Jan. 27 A la Carte. Bacon and Parmesan Cheese Quiche in 45 minutes? Sign me up.

Being shallower than a pie pan, a tart pan yields quiche in a shorter amount of time. With fewer eggs required to fill it, a tart pan also yields fewer leftovers, which is just fine. Although I enjoy quiche the first time around, I don’t relish it for days on end. If you’re a family of four, a tart pan will produce one meal.

I’ve also learned over time that prebaking the crust, weighted in the pan, while chopping, sauteing and whisking up the fillings really does produce a better quiche. Again, not a new idea. Why didn’t I do it all along? Good question.

Mark Freeman confessed his fondness for spinach quiche in a recent Fish Hack post. I was quick to remind Mark that if he’s losing credibility in the outdoorsmen crowd, don’t forget the bacon. Saute your veggies in the rendered fat or butter. If you really need more cholesterol, make your own crust with lard.

I adapted the Associated Press’ bacon-Parmesan version to goat cheese and added sauteed mushrooms and onion. And because asparagus is in season, I snapped about a dozen spears in half and arranged them, tips pointing inward, in a sunburst pattern on top of the other fillings. Then I filled the pan with seven eggs beaten with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg.

There’s no need to blanch slender asparagus spears first; they cook fine right in the pan. I always saute mushrooms and onions, though, because you don’t want them watering down your egg. And always remember to place a tart pan with a removable bottom on top of a baking sheet in the oven.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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