This week’s Ask the Chef Featured Question

Dear Chef,
I love quiche, but when I try to make it at home I find that the cheese and egg have separated into two layers with the cheese on top. What is the secret to blending the cheese and egg? I asked a local chef, who told me to bake it at 250 degrees for an hour. I tried that, but they still separated. Am I not using the right cheese?
Generally, I fill the pie shell with the grated cheese (I have tried different kinds) and what ever veggies and meat, then pour the whisked egg mixture on top and bake.

Dear Kathy,
I love quiche too, and have been using the same recipe for the custard since I worked at a fern bar restaurant in the 80′s. It calls for 3 eggs, 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of sour cream, a dash of fresh-ground nutmeg and s&p. That mix works for any filling you like. Since I’ve gone dairy free, I have experimented with various milk substitutes, and I like the coconut milk available in the boxes in the refrigerator section (not the coconut cream found in cans, although that might make a good substitute for some of the sour cream).
When I fill my quiches, I start with the veggies and/or meats. Then I sprinkle on the cheese and use my fingers to distribute it throughout the other filling. I suppose you could even toss your filling and cheese together in a bowl before putting it into the crust so that the cheese is thoroughly distributed and there isn’t a distinct ‘layer’ of cheese. Once all of that is in the crust, I pour my custard in and around the other ingredients, taking care to cover the top of the filling as it pours in, even if some sticks out above the custard. (For example, if I’m using broccoli, I make sure each florette gets custard poured over it so the tops won’t burn if they stick up above the level of the custard.)
I always bake my quiches at 325 – 350 degrees. I can’t see where cooking it at 250 will do much for you other than delay your quiche gratification! I hope that helps, and I wish you many a fine quiche this winter!
Chef Christy

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