Cheese Tart (Quiche au Fromage)
Real men do indeed eat quiche in France. In fact, this savory, easy-to-make custard tart is a favorite entrée to prepare with whatever ingredients home cooks have on hand, including cheese, vegetables, and cured meat. Quiches are also a popular picnic food to make beforehand and eat at room temperature on a day out in the countryside or at an evening, open-air concert in the city.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 3-1⁄2 hours for pastry preparation, including 3 hours chilling time
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (8 ounces) grated Gruyére or Swiss cheese
Prepare the Savory Tart Dough and bake blind.
As the pastry bakes, prepare the quiche filling.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs. Add the flour and heavy cream and beat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the cheese on the bottom of the prebaked pastry shell. Cover with the custard mixture and place on a rack in the upper third of the oven.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
The great thing about quiche is that you can use an endless variety of different fillings. Some favorites are the following:
Quiche Lorraine: Substitute the cheese with 8 slices of the thick-cut bacon diced and cooked until fat is rendered, but not crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
Spinach Quiche (Quiche aux Éspinards): Substitute 1 cup of steamed, chopped spinach, drained well, for 1 cup of the cheese.
Mushroom Quiche (Quiche aux Chapmpignons): Substitute 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, sautéed in butter, for 1 cup of the cheese.