Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crab Quiche

by Ann
If you asked my friend Robin what first comes to her mind about me, my bet would be that she would say something about what she has dubbed my “famous crab quiche.”  I would prefer that she’d say that I am fun or entertaining to be around, but my money would be on the quiche reply!
I have always liked quiche, and find it to be an easy brunch food to prepare to serve as a main dish.  In a previously mentioned post I said that I am part of a women’s organization that is either fundraising or eating.  We kick off eating each club year with our “Fall Coffee,” which is really a brunch.  The club was started in 1954, so there are many, many former members who are welcomed and celebrated at this event.  The club’s Board of Directors provides the food, and for the first time in my memory this year I was not cooking for and dragging food to the event.  The last few years I have made the “famous crab quiche,” and want to share the recipe because I’d also call it the “easy crab quiche.”
Ok – so let’s talk about the easy concept.  I can make a pie crust, and as I’m typing this, I think that I should try it again – but it’s hard to get motivated to do so when the Pillsbury refrigerated crusts are so good and come out perfect each time; yet I have a cautionary tale about refrigerated pastry. A couple of years ago my dear niece Amanda got married and my sister wanted me to make quiches for the brunch the following day.  Faced with needing to buy multiple packages of crusts, I cheaped-out and opted for the store brand, thinking, “How much different could pie crusts be?”  The answer is A LOT!  I already had one box of Pillsbury at home, so did my own “test kitchen” comparison as I baked.  The store brand did not brown nearly as nicely, and was far less flakey.  Lesson learned; I will never buy a store brand crust again.
As I have read through quiche recipes some do not require prebaking the crust, but that sounds like a soggy mess to me.  There are some baking accessories that facilitate the pre-baking process.  I would suggest pie weights and a shield to protect the top of the crust from getting too brown.  Prior to buying a jar of weights I used dried beans (and reused them), but after several bakings they put off a funky smell that I feared would permeate to the crust, in spite of the parchment paper lining.  Bottom line – if you don’t have pie weights, beans work fine but eventually need to be tossed and replaced.  See below for a pic of the weights that I use over and over.  I got them at Sur la Table, and would guess that they cost about ten bucks.

Be sure to cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of the pie pan to place the weights on.  Not only does it keep the surface clean, but also facilitates the process of moving the weights back into the jar after baking the crust.
Last year I bought a metal ring that goes over the top of a pie crust as it bakes which is oh-so-handy.  Prior to owning this, I used strips of aluminum foil crimped around the edge, which worked, but would slip off easily, so I am glad I made the minor investment for the ring.  I have used it on several different pans, and even though they don’t all look the same size, the ring seems to fit all of them.

Once the shell is baked, put the weights back in the jar until they are needed next time, add the fillings, and bake until golden as pictured above.  Delicious!  See recipe below -- Robin, I have the coffee on!  Can't wait until you get here!

Crab Quiche
9 inch baked pastry shell
6 oz pasteurized crab meat *
¼ c green onions, cut into small round slices
1 ½ - 2 c shredded Swiss cheese
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 T flour
1 T chopped fresh parsley
½ t seasoning salt
¼ t white pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg (ok if it comes out of a jar, I guess…)
1 c half and half**

Prepare the crust according to package directions or the recipe.  Prebake it with outer edges shielded, using weights to keep the bottom from puffing up.  Do NOT prick the bottom of the crust! 

Reduce oven temperature to 350 to bake quiche.
Spread the crabmeat, green onions, and Swiss cheese on the baked crust.

In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir well.

Pour over cheese and crab.  Keeping the shield on the edge of the crust, bake for 35-45*** minutes, until the center is set.

Cool to desired temperature prior to serving.  Quiche is good at room temperature, or warm, but should not be served piping hot.


*I use the crab meat that can be found in the refrigerated section of Costco or most grocery stores lately.  The canned variety is “ok,” but not exceptional.  Fake “krab” is NOT ok according to me!  Phillips is a good brand.  If you don’t use it all, it can be frozen, in spite of the warning on the container not to do that.
**If you have cream on hand, use half heavy cream and half milk.  One recipe I looked at listed evaporated milk instead – I have never done that, but it may be worth a try.
**Baking time will depend partly upon the temperature of the egg and cream mixture.  When baking, it is usually best to bring eggs and other refrigerated ingredients to room temperature prior to baking.


1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to try this one for my husband. He loves quiche - this recipe seems to be extra special :)