Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Custard in a Crust? (Ruth Reichl)

A custard in a crust?


I must admit... This quirky description in the book, My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl has fully caught my attention!!!

Is this a quiche? I asked myself... as I read how the book narrates the story of this recipe.

Yes! It is. I like the way how Ruth describes how she and her son, Nick made this impromptu quiche in her book. It feels like baking a quiche is such an easy peasy! So easy that it can be so relaxing and pleasurable to bake and eat.

Convinced? Yeah... and so I made my impromptu custard in a crust too...

custard in a crust basic quiche Ruth Reichl
A custard in a crust? In another words, it is a quiche! LOL!
According to the recipe, you can use any pastry crust that is made in excess and stored in the freezer.
I had a look in my freezer and found this!!!
This is one of my favourite pastry recipe that I have baked before at here.

Next I gather the ingredients...

1 cup of cream (35% fat) and 3 eggs
The seasonings... salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
One of our fav cheese, Gruyère :)

The ingredient list is all ticked... Now I'm all ready to bake!

First I did this... I didn't chill the pastry after shaping and proceed baking it immediately.
Then I baked the pastry for 20 mins with pie eights and 8 mins without pie weights until the pastry looks golden.
The recipe says that not to worry if the pastry shrink a little after baking.
Next I did this and bake it again for 40 mins.
Ta dah! Dinner is ready!
Told ya!!! Baking a quiche is super easy!
All thanks to the book, My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl.
custard in a crust basic quiche Ruth Reichl
nom nom nom... This basic cheese quiche is so yummy!
The three of us ate most of it and left just a tiny little slice for my husband's next day lunch at work. Opsie!
You know what... This book is awesome!!!
And I have to show you more of this book later...

Before sharing a few glimpse of this book, I like to share with you a re-written version of this recipe first. As this post is specially written to review this book, I have agreed to the publisher not to replicate the exact text of this recipe. However, I reckon that it is ok for me to share a "boring" do-this-and-that version of this recipe as the recipes in this book are never written in this manner and you will see what I meant later.

Here's the recipe that I have used to bake my custard in a crust which is mostly adapted from here and also the book, My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

Make one 25 cm (10 inch) quiche

For the pastry:
150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
187g (1 1/4 cup) plain flour
90 ml (1/4 cup 2 tbsp) sour cream

For the filling:
125g Gruyère cheese, roughly cut or grated
(if you like more cheese, you can add more up to 200g)
1 cup (250 ml) cream
3 large eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
a pinch of ground nutmeg

For the pastry:
You can make this one day ahead or even earlier and store the pastry in the freezer until required.

Using a food processor or your fingertips, pulse or rub butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add sour cream and continue to pulse (or mix by hand) until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball. Do not knead or over-mix and it is ok if the dough looks a little marbled.

Wrap the dough in plastic film and chill it in the freezer overnight or until it is required to use.
On the baking day, remove the pastry from the freezer. Allow the pastry to thaw a little at room temperature until it is ready to roll. Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place pastry on a large baking paper and use a rolling pin to roll pastry to a size that it is big enough to fit a 25 cm (10 inch) glass or metal pie plate (please do not use loose bottom pan). Crimp the edges with your fingers, pierce it all over with a fork. Cover it well with a large piece of foil and fill it with pie weights.

Bake for 20 mins, then remove the foil and the weights. Bake the crust for another 8 mins or until the crust turns golden. Not to worry if the crust shrinks a little. Place the crust on a wire rack to cool slightly for about 10-15 mins.

Reduce oven temperature to 180°C

Arrange cheese over the bottom of the pre-baked crust.

In a large mixing bowl, add cream, eggs, salt and pepper and whisk until mixture is combined. Pour egg mixture into the crust and sprinkle the ground nutmeg over the top of the egg mixture and bake for 40 mins or until the custard is set.  

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Happy Baking
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I promise you that this quiche is so yummy! My favourite pastry is always so melty, flaky and buttery and the Gruyère cheese filling is simply heavenly!!!

Yeah... Ruth is right that quiche is just a custard in a crust. In her book, she was explaining to Nick that the hardest part of making quiche is blind-baking the crust but you know... baking this quiche is not hard at all especially if you are using such an easy recipe like this.

I adore the way how Ruth expresses herself and her culinary knowledge through all these fabulous recipes that she shared in this book. She is absolutely a gem to me!

Ruth Reichl? Who is she? She is the bestselling author of the memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires and the novel Delicious!

Before the autumn of 2009, Ruth Reichl had been the editor-in-chief in Gourmet magazine for 10 years. When Gourmet magazine was abruptly closed by its parent company, Ruth found herself without a job for the first time for more than 30 years and the confused, lonely and frightened her found her sanctuary in her kitchen. Today, Ruth has more than 330 thousands Twitter followers. They are her culinary supporters and have ultimately help her to feel less alone during her time of isolation.

The recipes collected in this book represent Ruth's passion for food. It is not a typical cookbook with pretty pictures with to-this-and-that instructions. Instead, it is a narrative book showing the real Ruth in her home at New York State with no food stylists, no prop, no special lightnings.

Here, this is just Ruth and her incredible food...

In this book, you will read how Ruth cooks and eats throughout the four seasons in New York State.
Let's start with autumn.
This book begins with this easy shirred eggs with potato purée recipe and also how the closure news of Gourmet magazine was announced.
And the story continues with lots of support from family, friends, fans and comforting food.
I remember this recipe!!!
I have made this anchovy bread before at here and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe!
The name of this cake says it all...
This is the cake that cures everything!!! And I believe it! LOL!
As I browsed the book a little further, I saw this gingered applesauce cake glazed with caramel.
I bookmarked this recipe instantly as I was thinking of my ginger cake loving aunties :)

I LOVE this book! It is a book that is fully packed with culinary knowledge and also a personal touch. At this page, I'm only at one-third of the book and there are a lot more interesting recipes and stories to feast my eyes and brain. Ok... I shall not overload this post further and promise that I will show you more in my subsequent post... but if you can't wait and want to read and buy the fantastic book now, you may wish to know this book is available now in most retail or online book shops at the retail price of AUD$45.

Before ending this post, I like to thank Murdoch Books for giving me this opportunity to do this review. I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid to do this and like to share my most honest opinions with everyone who read this review.

Due to the use of a selected cookbook, this post is linked at Cookbook Countdown #3 organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Emily from Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray


  1. I haven't seen this book yet, but it sure sounds like a good one. Love quiche! Looks like a great recipe -- thanks.

  2. Hi Zoe, I would like to try this recipe. Looks easy and yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. A lovely book, and noted the contents in your post regards the author - inspirational! Wow, the three of you devoured the custard pie (almost) all by yourselves! Delish photos! Looking forward to all your results from your new book!

  4. Sounds like a lovely book... and that "custard in a pie" quiche looks absolutely tempting...

  5. All these photos make me hungry and its about 2 hours more to my dinner!

  6. I would die for cheese and this custard is perfect for me!
    Thanks for sharing

  7. Zoe, custard and pie appeals very much to me!! I love this combi :) It is already way past dinner and now I'm thinking about dessert :(

    Now you are making me curious about Ruth Reichl. I like the little preview you gave from the book. That cake that cures everything!!! I'm already eyeing it :P Chocolate usually gets me!

  8. Hi Zoe,
    Quiche is just a custard in a crust ... I've learned something new. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  9. The crust looks delicious!! I haven't seen this book yet, but might need to look into it.

  10. I've never thought of quiche as a custard in a crust but come to think of it, it's true. Anyway, I love making and eating quiche. It always remind me of the time when I studied in the UK. Quiche is a staple item in the school canteen there because it's a good way for the kitchen to use up leftover ingredients and it can be kept overnight and eaten cold

  11. Beautiful custard tart, or is it a pie?...either way it is so gorgeous and absolutely delicious. Ruth Reichl was such a great editor of Gourmet magazine, I really miss that amazing cooking magazine!

  12. Wow thats probably the easiest quiche. No custard to worry about!

  13. Hi Zoe,
    I have seen this book at Amazon a few months ago and thought that this is a beautiful book. I can see why you like this book so much! I like it too!
    Your quiche looks so good. And so nice that you can get Gruyere cheese, it is not easily available over here, and very costly!