Last weekend’s discussion about the contents of our freezers prompted me to make spinach quiche on Saturday. I had pie dough in the freezer along with the correct amount of frozen spinach from the garden. What could go wrong?
Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, and I certainly repeated it with the quiche. I like to use Julia Child’s quiche recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking. It calls for an 8 inch pan with a removable bottom, or else a flan ring. A flan ring is an 8 inch in diameter by 1 inch high metal ring with no bottom. You use a cookie sheet as the bottom. You just line the flan ring/cookie sheet combo with the crust. I don’t have a pan with a removable bottom, but I have a flan ring and I have used it for years. I almost always have trouble with it, though, but I never replaced it despite all the trouble it caused. It works beautifully if you have just the right pie dough for your quiche, one with a higher proportion of butter to lard or shortening. It makes for a sturdier crust.
My current favorite pie dough recipe has equal amounts of butter and lard. It is really flaky. I rolled it out, lined the flan ring, made a lovely fluted rim, and set to partially baking it preparatory to pouring in the filling. A few minutes after I put the crust in the oven, the entire flaky and tender fluted rim fell off onto the cookie sheet. My pastry was too delicate. That left me with a partially baked crust about three quarters of an inch high and no rim to keep the filling from overflowing. Not to be daunted, I rolled some leftover dough scraps and remade a serviceable rim that I attached to the partially baked crust after it cooled. I filled the quiche shell with the delectable filling, and put it in the oven.
I neglected to consider that if my fluted rim was too delicate, so was the bottom edge of the crust. As usually happens when I don’t use the sturdier crust recipe, the filling started to leak out of the bottom of the crust and onto the cookie sheet. I felt like the little Dutch boy plugging the dike as I plastered dough scraps at the junction of the cookie sheet and the flan ring where the leaks seemed to be the biggest. After a bit the eggs and cream started to thicken with the heat, and I suppose only half a cup or so leaked out. The finished quiche was delicious, but the drama that went into making it! (There was even more drama during all of this because before I baked the quiche, husband finished an 11 lb pork shoulder in the oven after he smoked it, and I didn’t realize that it had leaked fat all over the bottom of the oven, and billows of smoke poured out of the oven every time I had to open it to attend to the crust. We had to open all the windows to let the smoke out. The pork was delicious, too, but what a mess!)
I threw the flan ring in the garbage and ordered an 8 inch quiche pan with a removable bottom. Then we cleaned the oven.
What are some of your memorable disasters?