Well in our house they do, so there.
Here’s the thing: real men go for plump, well filled quiches – think Rubens rather than Modigliani. Away with your slender, low-fat jobs, a quiche is (or should be) something succulent and delicious. The only absolute no-no is soggy bottoms (pace Rubens).
Here’s an all-purpose recipe for a 26 cm quiche feeding 4 averagely hungry folks or 6 with delicate appetites. Keep the number 4 in mind: you need 400g solids + 4 eggs + 400ml of mixed cream and milk, plus seasonings and herbs – oh and the pastry that will cradle it all. It works brilliantly as a fairly elegant dustbin for anything you may find lurking in the fridge. Well, not absolutely anything, but something delish that somehow escaped predations and which may be getting close to its sell-by (or is it use before?) date.
Heat the oven to 180C, preferably using only bottom heat. (Gas ovens are hopeless for quiches because the heat always soars up into the roof, which is why they always give pallid pastry. Electric are good, especially the kinds where you can select a good blast of bottom heat. And Agas, for once, come into their own here.)
Buy a ready-rolled 28cm circle of puff or shortcrust pastry (or roll out 250g pastry to a 28cm circle) and arrange it in a lightly buttered 26cm quiche pan, best of all a black metal one with removable base, though at a pinch a pallid metal one will do. (Do NOT use one of those wavy-edged, wedding-present ceramic dishes, which will guarantee soggy bottoms as the pastry will never cook through – keep these for tomato and mozzarella salad.)
Arrange your 400g selected solids in the pastry case.
Crack your 4 eggs into a bowl, add a 200ml tub of crème fraîche and the same volume of milk, season with salt and pepper and beat to a frenzy – a wire whisk is fine, a hand-held blender even better. Then add the herb – finely chopped – that will best match your solids. The quiche I just made, pictured above, was from smoked salmon trimmings left over after Christmas/New Year and some finely shredded, crunchy-cooked cabbage and broccoli, ditto, so I used dill. If I’d used up the jambon-pipérade that’s also lurking in the fridge, I’d have gone for snipped basil, or (since it’s winter, fresh basil is in short supply and dried is dire) a splodge of green or red pesto.
Pour this eggy/creamy mixture over your solids and put the quiche in the oven, close to the bottom so tha pastry is getting a good blast of heat. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the quiche is puffed up, golden and fragrant and the filling is no longer wobbly when nudged.
Share with a real man – or anyone else who may appreciate the wonder of such things.