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Impressions at Home - Quiche Springtime is here! Brunch is perfect for celebrating the new season. It is also a great reason to entertain, especially if you are new to entertaining or on a budget.

Brunch, typically served mid-morning, is relatively inexpensive and simple to prepare. Instead of creating an entire dinner, you can focus on fresh fruits, breads, assorted cheeses and simple egg dishes. Keep costs down by serving assorted fruit juices and teas, or for something special, mix in a little champagne for a mimosa. Gather friends or family and serve up a little late-morning fun.

Here is one of my go-to favorites for brunch. I love it because it can be made ahead and made to fit any taste with assorted meats and vegetables. See below for the recipe for bacon quiche and other variations that will leave even your vegetarian and gluten-free friends wanting more.

Bacon Quiche and Other Variations

1 pie crust (you can make your own or use a pre-made refrigerated one)
12 thick slices of bacon
4 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 pound (about 1 cup) natural Swiss cheese, shredded (note: do not use the pre-grated cheese in a bag; grate a cheese block yourself for the best melting consistency)

Prepare and roll out pie crust into one 9” pie plate. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill while preparing other items.

Cook bacon in a skillet or oven until crisp and brown. Drain on paper towels and crumble.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl with a wire whisk, beat eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cheese to combine.

Spread crumbled bacon in prepared pie crust. Pour egg mixture over bacon and bake 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 degrees and continue to bake for 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: To make in advance, prepare recipe as directed, allow baked quiche to cool and refrigerate uncovered until well chilled. Cover with plastic wrap to keep overnight, if needed. You can serve quiche at room temperature or re-heat it by placing it covered with foil in a 325 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes until heated through. Quiche is best if used within 3 days.

There is a quiche for everyone! Try one of these variations or make your own; simply keep the egg, cream and cheese ratio the same and bake as directed, adding in 3/4 cup of your favorite meat or vegetables. (Note: Be careful with items like mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes as these contain a lot of water. Be sure to remove as much excess water as possible. If there is too much liquid, the quiche will not set properly.)

Cheese Quiche: Prepare as directed above, omitting bacon and adding 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese along with the swiss cheese.

Crab Quiche: Prepare pie crust and egg/cream mixture as directed and set aside. To the egg/cream mixture, add 2 tablespoons minced green onion and two 6-oz packages of well-drained crab meat, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons dry vermouth, optional.

Mushroom Quiche: Prepare pie crust and egg/cream mixture as directed and set aside. In a medium sauté pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add 8 ounces thinly slices mushrooms and 2 tablespoons diced green onions. Cook until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced. When fully cooked, remove mixture onto a few paper towels and press out any extra remaining liquid. Put cooked mushroom mixture in the bottom of the prepared pie crust, top with the egg/cream mixture and bake as directed.

Gluten-Free Option: Prepare as directed, but omit the pie crust. Pour your chosen filling into a greased pie plate and bake as directed.


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