Crustless Quiche

When your cupboard is bare, make quiche. Better yet, make crustless quiche. The thing that used to keep me from making quiche was never having a pie crust on hand, and not wanting to go through the trouble of home-making one. Problem solved with crustless quiche. I almost always have eggs, cheese and milk on hand, and the beautiful thing about quiche is that if you have that, you can toss in almost anything else – chopped up leftover ham or chicken, those last few strips of bacon that aren’t quite enough to cook for family breakfast, that half-bag of frozen spinach rattling around in the freezer. Don’t add meat, and it’s a good meal for Fridays in Lent, one that my husband will actually eat.

Here’s the recipe. I made it with the breadcrumb crust, and found that the egg mixture seeped through the crumb bottom, making it more like a strata than the firm, eggy custard I usually expect quiche to be. Still good.

Crustless Quiche Master Recipe
from Food Network Kitchens

Ingredients

2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

Optional Quick Crust:
(NOTE: I used storebought breadcrumbs.)
1 1/2 cups bread cubes, preferably sourdough
2 tbsp unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
9 inch glass or ceramic pie pan

Custard:
2 cups half-and-half
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
pinch cayenne or paprika

Fillings:
2 to 3 cups prepared vegetables, such as braised leeks, broccoli, sauteed onions, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, tomatoes
4 ounces, or about 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese, such as Cheddar, goat cheese, Gruyere, Parmesan, fontina, provolone, mozzarella, Gouda, solo or combined
1 to 4 tablespoons minced herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, dill, rosemary, marjoram
3/4 cup chopped crisp bacon, diced ham or salami
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, optional, this is good to use with vegetables that release liquid during cooking, such as zucchini and spinach

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the pan: Brush pan with the soft butter and sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly on top. Or for a Quick Crust, pulse bread into crumbs in a food processor. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add bread crumbs and stir until evenly toasted, about 5 minutes. Evenly spread crumbs in a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.

Whisk the half-and-half, eggs and yolks in large glass measuring cup. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, cayenne or paprika to taste. Spread half the desired filling evenly in the pan, top with about half the cheese; repeat with remaining filling and cheese. Pour the custard over the fillings. Top with more herbs or cheese as desired.

Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

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