In 2017, we celebrated my Father-in-Law’s birthday by going to the Bistro Menil, a delightful restaurant near the Menil Gallery in Houston. I am always a sucker for a good quiche, and how nice that the special was a Crab Quiche in a puff pastry.
It was amazing. incredible. (insert superlative here)
Let’s just go with “I REALLY liked it”. So, of course, I had to try to make it. Adding a puff pastry as a shell in a quiche is difficult all by its self, so the first thing I wanted to do was get the flavoring correct. Best course of action? Make my normal quiche recipe that I have been playing with for a few years… then add the crab! Quiche is not really all that difficult; sounds fancy, and yet the steps and the ingredients are all about the same. The trick is to 1) get good ingredients and 2) do things in the best order for best results.
One strategy that I learned last year in my quiche-making-adventure seems obvious at first. You see, I used to put all of the cooked ingredients in the middle of the shell, add the cheese, then pour the egg mixture over the top until it was full. Yuck, never came out even or correct. So, I learned to let the filling cool down after cooking, then slowly incorporating the cheese and the filling into the egg mixture so it is all coated. HUGE difference on having it come out even in the baking!
- ½ stick Butter
- 1 whole Large (or 2 Medium) Onions, Very Thinly Sliced
- 2 boxes (5 Oz. Each) White Mushrooms, Washed And Sliced
- 1 whole Pie Crust
- 8 whole Eggs
- 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 3/4 pounds crab
- 2 cups Grated Gruyere Cheese / smoked gouda
- Fresh Chives (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in the skillet. Add onions and cook for a minute. Add mushrooms and let it all cook down, adding a pinch of salt as you like. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
Roll out pie crust and press into deep dish tart pan. I know it is easy to grab a crust frozen in a pan… but if you do not like to make your own crust, run to Costco and buy their frozen pie dough. Holy wow, it is really good for pre-made!
In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream. Add 1 ½ cups of grated cheese, salt and pepper, and set aside. If you like the heat, use cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes in the mixture.
Slowly add mushroom mixture into egg/cream mixture, stirring it together. Add chives, if desired. The egg mixture will now be one large gloppy mess, thick but still pour-able. In other words: perfect.
Pour into pie crust and press to submerge ingredients.
At one point, I mixed the crab into the egg mixture with all the other ingredients. It came out delicious and beautiful, but the crab really overpowered all the other tastes.
What I have learned to do is mix the crab with the remaining cheese, then put it all on top of the quiche mixture you poured in… right in the center. My daughter suggested next time I should hollow out the middle and let it all sit there. My daughter is a wise young lady.
Cover loosely with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Bake for slightly longer if quiche is overly jiggly.
Remove from oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
Remove from pan and slice into wedges. Delicious! Next time… puff pastry!