I was raised on quiche – it was always a perfect “lady’s” lunch, served warm with a dressed salad of greens on the side. My mother was born in Nancy, France, which is in the province of Lorraine. So she comes from the land of Quiche Lorraine – the “original” quiche! The quintessential quiche contains bacon plus lots of eggs and cream. And I have made this often, especially when my daughters are home, for our lady’s lunch!
However, I do like to switch things up a little and I recently made a “different kind of Quiche”, that includes an apple and onion. Plus, I used my favorite cheese to really make if different, but still fabulous!
I discovered Époisses in Beaune, which is in the Burgundy province of France. My family and I went there a few years ago to visit the Hospice de Beaune, but our visit had extra benefits! It was in Beaune where I discovered Époisses. My life would not be complete without Époisses. It is, indeed, my favorite. I can now die happy. Oh, and the wine there was pretty darn good, too!
Époisses has the distinction of being the only cheese, and perhaps food, banned on public transportation in France. I mean, that’s really saying something! And it really does smell, in an unpleasant cow-poop way. The rind is really what smells bad – it’s a washed rind. But inside is a soft, almost pourable cows’ milk cheese that is… well, you just have to try it if you get a chance. As I’ve said before, cheeses never taste as bad as they smell. I actually eat the soft rind along with the cheese – it just doesn’t bother me. Yes, it’s pungent, but in a delightful way! You can remove a little rind if you prefer in this recipe.
Here’s a recipe for this quiche:
A Different Kind of Quiche
1 pie crust, uncooked
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream
Few grindings of pepper
Pinch of salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled, thinly sliced
8 ounces Époisses, cut into pieces while still cold
1 cup or so diced ham
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees on convection.
Place your prepared pie crust in a 9″ pie pan. I personally prefer home-made pie crusts, but you may use a store-bought crust if you prefer. I am not the pie crust police! Set the pie pan in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese, and cream*. Add the pepper and salt and whisk well. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté the onion slices for about 5 minutes. Add the apple slices and continue to sauté, for another 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly.
When you are ready to put the tart together, have the egg mixture, the onion-apple mixture, the cheese, and the ham in front of you.
Take the pie pan out of the refrigerator and place on a cookie sheet. Place the onion-apple mixture on the bottom of the crust using a slotted spoon; try to avoid as much liquid as possible. Top with the pieces of cheese. The cheese is hard to work with because it softens so quickly. Just place little pieces of it around as best you can; it will spread. Then add the ham dice. Whisk the egg mixture again, then carefully pour it into the pie pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for about one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Don’t be impatient. Make sure the middle of the quiche is fully cooked before you take it out of the oven.
Serve warm, with a green salad. This quiche is great hot, warm, and also cold. Trust me – I ate it cold this morning!
* The pie pan I used is slightly more deep-dish than regular pie pans. If you plan on using a traditional pie pan, cut back on the cream and ricotta cheese slightly. You’ll be able to eyeball it. Then, of course, you will have to cut back on your cooking time as well.
Note: Hopefully you are lucky enough to find Époisses locally. If you’re like me and have to order it, www.Fromages.com has it available when it’s in season.