Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Gonna Give You Christmas Quiche!

Come On-A My House by Rosemary Clooney
I had help with my post today and my helpers also picked the song.  I had forgotten all about this Clooney classic, but, when I asked them for suggestions, this literally burst from Lara's lips!  She and Erin did a little impromptu performance for me, which led me to check it out further.  I had to agree with them - this song was perfect! Here we were, friends gathering to share each other's company and food!  And, oh, what food it turned out to be!  Love this recipe!  Love, Love, Love it!  It's simple.  It tastes fresh.  And it's positively festive in it's appearance - all decked out in red and green.  If you're looking for something to serve Christmas day, may I suggest this beautiful quiche?  "I'm gonna give you a peach and pear and I love your hair, ah!"  Too fun!
Say hello to my friend, Erin!  

She just happens to be the oldest daughter of my good friend, Lara.  Erin is one of four daughters in a most amazing family.  I wonder, sometimes, how the roof stays secure on their house with all the fabulous ideas flying about within those walls!  They are a brain bank.  Looking for a solution to something or a new idea?  Give them a shout - chances are they'll come up with the most innovative idea you've ever heard.  I'm a bit of a fan.

With all this talent and creativity in the atmosphere, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that they had never made a pie crust (gasp!!)!  We were in the middle of a pasta-making afternoon when this sordid detail came out.  They expressed their sincere desire to learn, though, and I knew that that was something with which I could render aid!  Soooo -

Erin and Lara came over today to learn how to make pie crust.  It was their idea, naturally, to bring ingredients for a quiche as well, thereby putting their new skill to a practical use AND providing us with a great opportunity to have lunch together!  They also brought along a delicious loaf of bread and some sparkling cider to go along with our meal.  Perfect!

I showed them how to make pie crust by hand as well as by using a food processor.  Erin will be returning to college again after the holidays and doesn't have access to a food processor there.  It was important that she know how to do this simple task without machinery!  

I demonstrated how to properly broadcast flour across your work space.

We talked about the importance of using super cold fats and water.  I explained how you didn't want to over mix the fat and that there should be visible little globs throughout the dough.

I showed her how to roll out the dough and how to see if it was big enough by flipping the pie tin upside down on it and making sure there was about 1 1/2" of dough extending beyond the edge.

Then I showed how to carefully fold the dough in half, then quickly slip it into the pie plate.

At last, I showed her she didn't have to resort to the old fork tine hash marks on the crust because the pretty crimp was so easy.

She watched me do one crust and then stepped in and did the other to perfection!  She's a quick study and I hope she's as proud of herself as I am of her!

We then started prepping the ingredients for the filling.  Lara set about chopping and seeding the tomatoes.

Erin shredded the swiss cheese.

The recipe also called for basil so I took the opportunity to demonstrate how to do a basil chiffonade.
It's easy and goes like this -
First, stack the leaves of fresh basil, one on top of the other.

Then roll them up like a cigar and thinly slice cross-wise.

You end up with beautiful ribbons of basil.

Place the eggs, cream, and seasonings in a bowl and whisk together until well combined.

Roll out your pie dough and fit into the pie plate and crimp the edges high to prevent any spill-over.  Sprinkle the cheese in the bottom of the crust followed by the chopped tomatoes and the basil.  Finally, pour your egg custard mixture over the top.  This is Erin's pie crust.  See how beautifully she did on those crimps?

We decided to throw on a little extra cheese at the last minute.  
Bake for 45 minutes, let cool for about 10 minutes.  This allows the custard to set up well.  Then enjoy!  The flavors are classic and comforting and the crust is delicate and flaky.  What more could you wish for?

Thanks to Lara for helping me with the photography today.  She's a real gem!

Christmas Quiche
Printable Recipe Card
4 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bunch fresh basil
4 eggs
1/2 c. half and half
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. onion powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place crust in pie plate and crimp edges high.  Sprinkle the cheese over the bottom of the crust followed by the tomatoes and basil.

Beat together the eggs, half and half and seasonings.  Pour over the fillings.  Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Serves 8.


  1. Thanks for all your kind words. You are not only a fantastic cook, you are an excellent friend and a great teacher. I love the blog!

  2. I adore that song, done by Bette Midler!
    This recipe looks delicious, I think I will try it this week!