Easy quiche

Jan 21, 2009 at 6:45 a.m. ET

Quiche is quite simply one of the easiest dishes to prepare, and so versatile you never have to eat the same quiche twice. All you need is a pastry crust, eggs, cream and a few other ingredients to transform the most basic quiche into a scrumptious signature dish you can call your own. Here are three easy quiche recipes - each with a different style of crust and a unique medley of ingredients in the filling.

Vegetable Quiche

Easy quiche recipes

Kale and Toasted Almond Quiche

Serves 8

A delectable brunch dish that is as fragrant as it is delicious. The almonds and almond butter in the crust give it a nutty aroma and mouth-filling texture that complements the kale-rich custard.

1 cup whole toasted almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
1-1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
8 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 bunch kale, stems removed, blanched, chopped, squeezed well to remove excess liquid
4 ounces provolone slices, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper and spray paper with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. To make the crust, grind almonds in a food processor until fine. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pulse to blend. Add almond butter and 1/2 cup cream and blend until a dough comes together. Dump onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat disk. Use a rolling pin to roll out to about a 9-inch circle.

3. Carefully lift dough (it won't hold together like a pastry crust) and place in the bottom of the prepared pan. Use the bottom of a flat glass as well as your fingers to press dough onto sides and bottom of pan – make sure it comes 2 inches up the sides. 

4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, remaining 1 cup cream, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg until well-combined. Stir in kale and pour into pan, making sure liquid does not exceed the top of the sides of the crust. Sprinkle with sliced almonds, if using.

5. Bake 1 hour or until filling is set and crust is a golden brown. Filling will be a bit puffed when it comes out of the oven but will deflate upon cooling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Remove sides of tart pan, slice and serve. 

Roasted Eggplant Quiche

Serves 6

A vegetable-rich custard featuring a savory Meditteranean flair makes this quiche ideal for any meal of the day.

1 prepared pie crust, fit into a 9-inch pie plate, chilled
1 small eggplant
3 ripe tomatoes
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Keep pie crust in refrigerator until ready to fill. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Poke eggplant with a fork in many places and place in a small roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until it is very tender. Remove from oven and pan and set aside. Turn broiler setting on in the oven.

2. Place tomatoes in the roasting pan and broil for 10 minutes or until charred. When eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel off skin and cut flesh into large pieces. Place eggplant and tomatoes in a blender or food processor and puree. Turn oven to 400 degrees F. Place crust in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.  

3. Lightly beat eggs and cream in a large bowl. Add eggplant puree, basil, salt and pepper and whish until well-combined. Pour into pie crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Slice and serve garnished a fresh basil leaf or two.

Crab Quiche

Serves 6

When the craving for a homemade pastry crust filled with a flavorful combination of crab, fresh herbs and cheese arises, this recipe is a must.

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water  

4 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces cooked crabmeat
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda

1. To make pastry, place flour, butter, shortening and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal with some lumps. Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water and pulse until incorporated. Add a bit more water if mixture seems dry.

2. Dump mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and bring into a dough - do not over-work. Form into a flat round disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove plastic wrap and roll dough into a 12-inch circle.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place pastry crust in a pie plate, fitting it into the bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom and side of shell with a fork. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights and bake 20 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For filling, whisk together eggs, cream, herbs and spices. Stir in crab and cheese. Pour into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set and slightly puffed. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.

A few more mouthwatering ways to eat quiche

Beet, Feta and Walnut Quiche
Quick Quiche Lorraine
Wild Mushroom Quiche
Apple Cheddar Quiche
Quiche Divine