Vicki’s food column: quiche

Food: Quiche (on a budget)

Inspiration: Ham and cheese quiche from Toronto’s Le Gourmand on 152 Spadina Ave.

– 1 cup grated applewood cheddar ($15/kg)
– ½ cup chopped prosciutto ($15.50/kg)
– 3 whole eggs ($5.50/carton)
– 2 egg whites
– 1/3 cup whole milk ($5)
– 1 pie crust
– A couple sprigs of thyme (to garnish)

This week, I decided to try my hand at making traditional quiche on a budget.

I had mistakenly assumed that it would be like making an omelette inside a flaky pastry. Originating from Lorraine, France, and influenced by German culture, quiche is so much more: it is actually a layered pastry filled with a silky, custard-like filling, layered with meat, cheese and stiff crème fraiche.

Keeping in mind my $25 budget, I opted to purchase the pie crust (two for $2.25 – what a steal) instead of making it. I fried up some sliced prosciutto, shredded some applewood cheddar and scattered that along the bottom of the crust. For a vegetarian option, substitute sautéed mushrooms or onions for the prosciutto.

The biggest challenge was dealing with the egg filling, as I wanted to avoid using the crème fraiche. Most recipes call for a cup or so, which would leave the rest of the crème to spoil in the depths of my fridge, wasting both the product and the money spent on it. Therefore, I used whole milk instead, whipping it until it was fluffy then pouring it over the meat and cheese, baking it for about half an hour.

Since quiche can be eaten fresh out of the oven, or served cold, I thought my roommate and I would be set for meals for the next few days. But within 15 minutes, all that was left were a few crumbly bits of pastry.

Difficulty Level: 4/10

Roommate Rating: 9.8 (“Because I didn’t lick the plate.”)

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