The quiche looks good in the fall sunlight doesn’t it? If this quiche could only talk…
I found a recipe online for a mushroom quiche that was featured in an issue of Food & Wine Magazine. The recipe looked awesome and I thought it would be good to have another use for my spring form pan besides cheesecake. There was also a note on the bottom of the recipe that I could make it ahead and then warm it up when it was ready to eat. What a perfect recipe. I could make it on Sunday and the just come home and heat it up after work on Monday and that would keep me practically out of the kitchen on Meatless Monday.
It was a great plan. A great plan indeed, until it happened. One of those moments when a great plan starts to go south. Call it a stubbornness, hardheadedness, a brain fart, a blonde moment or just plain stupid, but I really didn’t think things through when making this recipe. Here are some lessons I learned from making this quiche:
LESSON #1: The recipe for the pastry shell was specific to the dimensions of the pan and the amount of filling made.
The recipe called for a “Buttery Pastry Shell”. It even had a link to a recipe for a butter pastry shell. Did I click on the link for that specific recipe? NO! I did not click on the link. For some reason I had it in my mind to use the perfect pie crust recipe I posted about this summer when I made my homemade cherry pie for the Fourth of July.
Before I could even try to make the pastry shell using the recipe I wanted to use, I realized I couldn’t use that recipe. That recipe called for shortening. I did not have any shortening. That was my chance to correct my mistake. Did I go back and click on the link to the “buttery pastry shell” the recipe called for? NO! I did not click on it. Instead, I Googled recipes for pastry dough that did not call for shortening. I found a recipe that made a 9” pie crust. In my head that is what was needed and that was what I was going to make. It never dawned on me that the recipe needed a specific pastry shell. One that actually fits the spring form pan and could hold the amount of filling I was going to prepare later. What is crazy is the fact that I used ingredients from another recipe, and intended on using the directions from the one I should be using, but I hardly read the instructions on the recipe for the pastry shell and I don’t think I really understood what was directed anyway. I didn’t care because I was going to make it work.
I made the dough and then placed it inside the refrigerator to relax and chill. While the dough chilled, I prepared the spring form pan and cut out two parchment paper circles that I thought would help the baking process. One would go underneath the dough on the bottom of the spring form pan. The second parchment paper circle would go on top of the dough to hold the rice. Yes, rice. I don’t bake often, so I don’t have any baking weights. I did not have any beans that I wanted to waste either (can you even reuse beans if you use them for blind baking?). The recipe said you could use rice for blind baking pie shells. Did you know that you could use rice? Me either! After 30 minutes, I took the chilled dough out of the refrigerator and began to roll it out. It was really pretty dough. Very smooth and silky. It wasn’t too dry and it wasn’t too sticky. I folded it up to make placing it inside the pan easier. As I began to unfold the dough and shape it inside the pan, I realized it really didn’t fit the pan, nor was it as thick as the directions said it should be. Looking at the picture of the made quiche in the printout, it looked close enough to the right height. So I decided to go with what I had.
LESSON #2: Never use rice instead of weights unless you use a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to keep the rice from touching the dough.
Let’s put it this way, you can use rice, in place of weights, as long as the parchment paper is large enough to keep the rice from touching the dough. The recipe instructed that I start with weights for a certain period of time and then take it out and continue to bake the shell until golden brown. When I cut out a circle of parchment paper to place into the bottom of the shell, I should have made it large enough to just lift the rice out of the shell. I did not think about making it easy to empty out the rice to finish baking the crust. Also, I am pretty sure I did not put enough rice in the shell either. As the shell baked the sides that I knew were way too thin began to roll downward into the bottom of the shell. This made trying to get rid of the rice and parchment paper almost impossible. The dough started to encompass the rice. I had to gently pick some grains of rice out of the shell using a pastry brush and a toothpick before I could return it to the oven to finish baking.UGH! What nightmare! Why didn’t I just start over after realizing the dough didn’t fit the spring form pan correctly? I still thought I could make it work.
LESSON #3: If the filling of a quiche starts to overflow and not fit into the shell, STOP POURING.
After that lovely pastry shell came out of the oven, I let it cool while preparing the filling for the quiche. Yes, I was still determined to continue on. I prepared the filling as directed. Before assembling the quiche in the shell, I decided I had better cover the outside of the spring from pan with aluminum foil, just in case it started to leak out of the pan. That folks, was one moment of genius! The first layer of ingredients seemed ok, but by the time I made the second layer of ingredients, things got really chaotic. Even though the pastry shell was practically engulfed by the filling from the first layer I proceeded to pour more filling into the spring form. I could see that it was starting to seep out of the pan into the layer of foil I had wrapped around it. I then decided I may want to put a sheet pan underneath that foil lined spring form pan. Well that is another genius moment. As the quiche was inside the oven beginning to bake the filling started to ooze out of the foil lined spring form pan and onto that sheet pan. All I could do was sit there and watch it happen. At that point, I really didn’t have an option to do anything else. Minute by minute passed and the oozing seemed to slow down. My next concern was that this thing had to bake for an hour and a half. That filling that had oozed out would start to burn and smoke up the house. So, with David’s help, we took it off the original sheet pan and placed it onto a clean one. Sheeew! I was exhausted and this thing just got into the oven.
After the long baking time, I took the quiche out of the oven and let it cool. Finally I was able to spring it out of that pan. It really didn’t look all that bad and it smelled great! I proceeded with pictures and enjoyed the natural light on the deck rail. It took until we went to bed that night for that quiche to cool enough to place into the refrigerator. The next day we came home and I sliced it up and placed it into the oven as suggested. David’s tummy was bothering him and he didn’t eat. I did and guess what? That quiche was great! Yes, the crispy crust on the outside would have made the texture a little better, but the flavors were not harmed. The next day David had his for lunch and it was so good he encouraged me to try it again. Said it was way better than “that soup” we had for Meatless Monday the week before. Thanks dear! I think…
Even though I had issues, this quiche would be awesome for entertaining friends and family during the holiday season. I had to change up the ingredients just a bit from the original due to limited cheese and cheese selections. Here’s how I made it:
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds portabella mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 2 teaspoons thyme, dried
- 7 ounces Swiss Cheese, slices
- Buttery Pastry Shell (USE IT!)
- 2 cups milk, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 6 large eggs
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat, stirring, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the butter, shallots and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
- Lay 4-5 cheese slices and half of the mushrooms evenly over the bottom of the pastry shell.
- Using a hand blender or regular blender, mix 1 cup milk, 1 cup cream and 3 eggs, season with salt, and pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg at high speed until frothy, about 1 minute.
- Pour the custard into the pastry shell.
- Top with 4-5 more cheese slices and mushrooms. Make a second batch of custard with the remaining 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of cream and the last 3 eggs. Add the same amount of salt, pepper and nutmeg as before and pour into the shell. Top with the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake the quiche for about 1 1/2 hours, or until richly browned on top and the custard is barely set in the center. Let cool in the pan until it has cooled enough to handle.
- Using a knife, carefully lift the springform pan ring off the quiche. Cut the quiche into wedges, transfer to plates and serve warm.
If you didn’t get lost in the story and have read this all the way to here, congratulations you are at the end. Thanks for reading and learning through my mistakes. The original recipe was called “Over-the-top Mushroom Quiche”. You have no idea…