Brunch is a wonderful Anglo-Saxon invention, perfectly fitting lazy Sunday mornings. Its origins are murky but the term first appeared in Great Britain in 1896 to define a meal that was neither lunch or brunch, an in-between. Despite being such a great invention, only Anglo-Saxon country serve brunch, which is otherwise unknown in the rest of the world.
A friend just asked me for ideas on what to prepare for an easy brunch that wouldn’t require any last minute cooking and, after going over various egg dishes, I suggested a QuicheLorraine that can never go wrong.
“But I don’t want to make a crust” he protested and I gave him a free pass to buy a pre-made one – I have been known to do it in a pinch (anathema, I know).
Then I directed him to Thomas Keller’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine that can be found in his Bouchon cookbook that, unlike the French Laundry one, contains plenty of dishes that can be easily reproduced at home without a battery of cooks and dishwashers in the wings. Keller’s version of Quiche Lorraine is by far the best I ever made – according to him, the secret is blending the eggs in a blender, thus incorporating a lot of air that will make the end result fluffier.
Too often Quiche can be downright rubbery -Keller’ss crust recipe is also very good, flaky and buttery, but pretty messy as it falls apart extremely quickly both when you roll it and when you cut it.
As his version is designed for a very tall quiche, I adapted ingredients and ratios to suit a pre-made shell.
1 C Milk
1 C Heavy Cream
1 ts Salt
A sprinkle of pepper
1/4 C Gruyère, diced
1/4 C Ham, diced
1 Pie shell, par-baked according to directions
1. Combine the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until scalded. Set aside to cool
2. Put eggs, milk mixture and salt and pepper in a blender and blend on low for a few seconds. Increase the speed and blend until the batter looks very foamy.
3. Scatter the diced cheese and ham on the bottom of the baked shell and pour the egg/milk mixture over it.
4. Bake at 350F until the Quiche is puffy and slightly browning on top (about 20/30 minutes)
For different variations, substitute the ham and cheese for any vegetable combinations you like.