Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quiche - 5 Ways

So for Mother's Day I made dinner for the whole family. I decided, for my mother, I would make QUICHE and because of my brothers I made 5 of them. Don't ask...
I used the every fabulous Jamie Oliver Pie Crust recipe, made the dough Saturday night, and then just rolled it out on Sunday.

The general quiche filling recipe is as follows:
4 eggs (I used 2 eggs and 2 servings egg substitute)
2 C. milk (I use skim milk and it always turns out just fine. This time I used about 1 1/2 C. skim milk and 1/2 C. cream).
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar

mix together; pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake @ 425 degrees for 15 min. and then reduce oven to 300 degrees and back for another 30-40 minutes.

Some things I've learned (the hard way) about making quiche.
  • Always put your empty pie shells, with whatever extras you want, on the baking rack first, THEN pour in the egg mixture. Slide the baking rack back into the oven and then bake.
  • You will want to cook your vegetable al dente before adding them (unless you like crunchy vegetables in your quiches) and saute all your onions and peppers.
  • There is such thing as "too much stuff", don't go over board on the fillings, you want room for the eggs.
  • Don't fill the egg mixture all the way up to the top of the crust, eggs get poofy when they are baked and will spill over the top.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, put your pie pan on a baking sheet before you put it on the baking rack in your oven. This way overfill with be caught by the baking sheet and not burn to the bottom of your oven.
Here are the pictures.Broccoli (it was actually CauliBroccoli) and bacon.It took me forever to bake all the quiches cuz I could only bake them 2 at a time cuz my oven is so small. Agghh! I dream of a larger kitchen someday, with tons and tons of counter space, a double oven AND warming oven, a side by side refrigerator and a seperate stand alone freezer, a stove with a pasta spout and 6 burners -- sigh!!

Anyways, back to reality...
Here's what I mean by putting them on the oven rack before I add the egg mixture.
You can see just how level my oven rack is (NOT).
Here's the finished product.

Ham, Bacon (isn't that redundant) and Swiss.
Green chili and cheddar cheese. This was the favorite.
Here they are all lined up, waiting to be served at mom and dad's. I made little name plates to tell everyone what was in each. I ended up making -- chili & cheddar cheese, ham & swiss, bacon & cheddar cheese, broccoli & bacon, bacon & ham & swiss.They tasted even better than they looked.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

One of my friends at work requested my Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe, so I'm throwing it up here. I got the original recipe from a recipe posted by Sharon Walker on and then I added my own personal twist.

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Makes 1 Loaf

1/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. buttermilk (I don't have this very often, instead I use 1 C. skim milk with 1 TBS. lemon juice or vinegar)
1 C. diced apples (if you cut them too small they all but disappear, too big and they becoming an eating obstacle)

1 TBS ground cinamon
1/3 C. granulated sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, sugar and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the egg mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix in the diced apples. In a small separate bowl combine cinnamon and sugar, set aside.

2. Pour half of the batter into the a well greased loaf pan. Sprinkle a very generous layer of cinnamon sugar over the batter. Pour the remaining batter in, sprinkle a small amount of cinnamon sugar over the very top.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Best Darn Pie Crust In The Whole World

I saw Jamie Oliver make this quick pie crust during one of his fabulous tv episodes (Jamie at Home). If you want to watch any of his episodes, come on over, I've got most of his shows on DVR. It looked pretty simple so I decided to give it a try. And it had me at "hello". I've never liked anything other than graham cracker crusts on my dessert, but this stuff is so amazing that I could probably eat it baked in a pie shell with a little whipped cream. :)
The great things about this crust is that it can be both savory and sweet, it really is easy to make, and it tastes better than any crust I've ever had.

Here you go, try it for yourself.

Pie Crust
(based on Jamie Oliver's recipe)
  • 2C flour
  • 1/2C powdered sugar
  • 1C butter, cut into small cubes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large free-range or organic eggs, beaten
  • a splash of milk
  • flour, for dusting
• Sieve the flour from a height on to a clean work surface and sieve the icing sugar over the top. I was making this pie crust for a chicken pot pie so I omitted the powdered sugar because I wanted a savory pie crust, and I did add about an extra 1/4 C. of flour instead.
• Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture.

• This is the point where you can spike the mixture with interesting flavors, so mix in your lemon zest. Again, because it was a savory pie crust I decided to spike it with rosemary and garlic powder. I added about 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tsp of rosemary. I crushed the rosemary first so I wouldn't get chunks of "woody leaves" in my bite of pie.

Here's a shot of the "spike" from a pie crust I made for pocket apple pies. I spiked it with the lemon zest and a little powdered ginger. This crust also has the powdered sugar in it.• Add the eggs and milk to the mixture and gently work it together till you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Don’t work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short.• Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in clingfilm (saranwrap) and put it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.

So here is the prep for the chicken pot pies I made. You can see the lovely flecks of herbs in the pie crust when I roll it out.
I had enough leftover stuffing (chicken and veges) and pie crust that I made an extra dish. And I assure you that it tasted as good as it looked.
Here's the sweet crust. I used it for mini apple pies.It really doesn't get much better than this perfect pie crust...hmmm the homemade pasta I made on Sunday was pretty darn good, but I'll save that for another post.