Intro: Crustless Quiche
Okay, I think a convincing argument could be made that a quiche without a crust is not a quiche at all. Certainly the explosion of crispiness and flavor from a par-baked crust made with butter and lard is an integral part of the classic quiche experience. Nonetheless, many in my family are reducing their exposure to grains and I have to cut back on carbs due to a medical condition. Therefore, with some anxiety I offer this instructable.
Step 1: Ingredients
2 oz Heavy whipping cream
6 oz grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese or combination of both
8 oz Frozen spinach
8 oz Fresh mushrooms
6 rashers pre-cooked bacon
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Step 2: Equipment
9 inch pie plate
Step 3: Temper Eggs
Place eggs in mixing bowl. Add warm water. Allow to sit until eggs come to room temperature.
Step 4: Cook Frozen Spinach
I really like frozen spinach. Easy to work with and economical when compared to fresh. I buy it in one pound bags and prepare it all at once. In this instance a half bag will do.
I add the entire bag to a sauce pan along with 1/2 cup water.
Then I crank the burner up to high until I can smell the spinach flavored steam, about 5-6 minutes.
Step 5: Dewater the Spinach
Spinach contains a lot of water that needs to be extracted so that the egg and cream custard sets up properly.
After it is cooked, drain the spinach in a strainer or equivalent.
When the spinach stops dripping, chop it on the cutting board if it was whole leaf. If it was already chopped, no need to do it again.
Place the chopped spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze as much water out as you can by twisting the towel. If you started with one pound of frozen spinach, reserve half to make creamed spinach to go with the salmon tonight.
Step 6: Prepare Mushrooms
Mushrooms will liberate a lot of water when they are cooked. As in the case of the spinach, this water must be extracted to assure the custard sets up. I also like to brown the mushrooms because I think it adds great flavor to the dish.
I wash my mushrooms immediately before cooking. Some folks just wipe them down; your choice.
After drying in a clean kitchen towel, I slice the mushrooms into +/- 1/4" slices.
I add about 2 tablespoons of butter to a frying pan along with a tablespoon of olive oil. When the butter stops foaming, I add enough mushrooms to cover the bottom in a single layer. When they are browned, I flip them over and brown the other side. When both sides are brown, I repeat for the next batch.
At the end of the last batch I add the diced shallots. When the shallots get soft, I add the first batches to the last and season to taste with salt and pepper. Do not forget, though, that the bacon and the cheese will bring salt to the dish as well.
Step 7: Prepare Bacon
I'm using pre-cooked bacon here. While I think there may be better bacon out there, no one has refused this in my experience. Take your six rashers and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
Step 8: Prep Cheese
Shred your cheese with a box grater or equivalent. The idea is to have pieces thin enough to melt easily.
Step 9: Prepare Custard Filling
Break your eggs into a measuring cup. There seems to be some variability in the volume of half a dozen eggs.
The eggs and cream are to have a total volume of 1-3/4 cups.
Whisk the eggs and cream together with a fork until the mixture appears uniform. I'm not trying get a lot of air into the mixture so I use a fork.
Then I season the custard with salt, pepper and a scrape of nutmeg. Usually, I add about half a teaspoon of dried Tarragon that I've crushed in my hand.
Finally, I add the spinach and stir until all big chunks of spinach have been worked into the mixture.
Step 10: Prepare Pie Plate and Oven
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generously coat the inside of the pie plate with butter.
Step 11: Final Assembly
Make a layer of cheese in the bottom of the pie plate using about 3/4 of your cheese. The layer should mostly cover the bottom of the pie plate.
Add the bacon on top of the cheese layer. You're looking to make sure every bite has bacon in it, so no one feels slighted.
Next add your cooked mushrooms to make a fairly uniform layer.
Now give your spinach custard mix a final stir and pour it all over the previous layers. Feel free to use a spatula to even out the distribution of custard.
Lastly, take your reserved cheese and sprinkle over the top.
Step 12: Bake and Cool
This particular quiche took about forty minutes to bake in my oven at an indicated 350 degrees. YMMV.
It could have cooked a little longer, because the cheese in the middle is not brown on top. However, the custard set up nicely in the center.
We try to let quiches cool for twenty minutes or so, but many times people are willing to risk burning their tongues to get a slice right away.