Wednesday, December 17, 2014

French Onion Quiche - Homemade Decadence

While it's still hot, it's puffy. It will flatten.
I always get excited when I see that a blogger I know (and I'm using the word "know" very loosely here) has written a book. When I had a chance to review Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson from the blog Joy the Baker, I knew it was going to be a winner. And I couldn't wait to crack it open.

Since Joy is known as a baker and there's a cake on the cover, I was a little surprised that the book wasn't all about desserts. But then I was happy, too, because I had brownies and cookies that needed to be eaten.

But still ... sweets.

In the end, I was torn between two pies - a buttermilk pie and a quiche.

The decision was practical. I had everything I needed to make the quiche, but I didn't have any buttermilk. But that's okay. Buttermilk pie will be made very very soon.

Meanwhile, the French Onion quiche happened like this:

French Onion Quiche 
Adapted from Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

For the onion mixture:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, cut in half and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons wine, beer or broth
For the pie and filling:
Pie dough or puff pastry to fit a 9-inch pie pan
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (4 ounces)
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the onions, stir, and cook for a few minutes. Add the salt, thyme, pepper, and sugar and stir. Cover the pan and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the onions are brown and soft.

Add the liquid and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for a short while until most of the liquid is gone. Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool.

The book didn't suggest chilling the onions, but I don't like the idea of adding warm ingredients to a pie crust, so I chilled it. It wasn't cold, but it was no longer warm when I used it.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees

The cookbook recipe suggested using store-bought puff pastry, but I had pie crust chilling in the refrigerator with no plans to use it.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough or puff pastry, as you would for any pie.

Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the pan and top with about half of the cheese. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until well combined, then add the milk, cream, salt, and nutmeg.

Pour the egg mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the prepared crust. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Set the pie crust on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until the center of the quiche is set - about an hour. The quiche will puff up when baking, but will settle as it cools.

Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Note: The book photo looks like the onions were stirred in to the mix rather than in a layer at the bottom. Next time, I might try stirring it all together before baking. Just to see what I think.

The result was good, and I'm looking forward to trying more recipes from this book. There's a breakfast nacho recipe on the short list, a couple of drinks I want to try, and some cookies and cakes that need to be baked. And of course that buttermilk pie.

And then when summer comes, I'll be heading over to the ice cream chapter. Oh yeah!

While I wouldn't call this book an absolute must have for everyone, I'm really happy to have it, and I'm looking forward to spending a lot of quality time with it.