Carrot Onion Quiche

When my boys were young we had one of those Little Golden Books entitled "Too Many Carrots" in which Bugs Bunny enters a pie eating contest.  Of course it's a carrot pie eating contest and, if I remember correctly, Bugs won that contest.  Well, I have too many carrots in the fridge and I've been cooking carrots nearly every day so they won't go bad before I get through all of them.  Today I made this Carrot Quiche and I think Bugs Bunny would be happy to eat this for his dinner as well.  Who'd a thunk carrots would be so good in a quiche?  Old Bugsy wouldn't blink an eyelash at the thought.   He'd like this dinner with Carrot Quiche and a salad and the rest of us like the fried potatoes as well.  

I ran across this recipe a few years ago while babysitting my grandson for an extended period of time.  Having plenty of time on my hands, in the evening after his parents got home, I often spend time reading food blogs and the like to while away the night.  This recipe caught my eye not because of the carrots, which I thought was unusual enough, but because of the savoury used as a seasoning.  Savoury could be called the official seasoning of Newfoundland.  We must use more per capita than anywhere else in the world.

This quiche has become a favourite of mine.  I like to serve it for dinner, bring it to potlucks and have even brought it to funerals for the luncheon following the service.  It's gotten great reviews and lots of recipe requests.  The sweetness of the carrots and onions paired with the savoury, nutty flavour of the Swiss cheese blend so well together.  If you'd like to see the original recipe just click on this link here.

So if you have too many carrots this is a great way to eat a few of them in a new and different way.  If you don't have any carrots make sure you buy some when you get your groceries so you can make this for your family.

Carrot-Onion Quiche
1 - 10-inch pie crust or 2 - 8-inch pie crusts
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 medium onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups grated Swiss cheese or a mixture of Swiss and Mozzarella, divided
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried savoury
Pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh or ⅓ teaspoon dried chives, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh or ⅓  teaspoon dried parsley, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out pie crust and place in pie plate(s).  Use pie weights or beans to weigh down the crust and bake for 10 minutes, until crust starts to color. Remove from oven and remove the pie weights/beans. 
(Don't throw out the beans.  Save them and use them over and over.)

Reduce temperature to 325 degrees.

Cook carrots in small amount of lightly salted water until tender crisp.  Drain and lay aside.

Melt butter over medium heat, add onions and sauté until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes. Blend in flour and then stir in milk.  Cook until sauce has thickened. 

Beat eggs.  Temper the eggs by adding a little of the hot onion sauce to the eggs, stirring constantly.  Quickly stir the tempered eggs into the onion sauce stirring so eggs will not curdle.  Add 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper, savoury, chives, parsley and nutmeg.  Stir sauce until well blended.  Fold in the cooked carrot slices.

Pour the mixture into the partially baked pie crust(s).  Sprinkle with the reserved cheese.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is slightly firm. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Makes 8 main dish servings using the 10-inch pie crust.  If using the smaller pie pans you can cut each quiche into 4 servings for main dish sized servings or 12 pieces each for appetizer-sized servings.

Before baking my pie crust I let it sit in the freezer for a few minutes.  This is a short-cut if you have not chilled your pastry before rolling it out.  This makes sure all ingredients are certainly well-chilled.

 Today I made 2 smaller quiche instead of the large 10-inch pie.  

To blind bake a pie shell place parchment paper on top of the unbaked pie crust.  Line the paper with dried beans or pie weights (that may be purchased in kitchen stores),  place the pie crust in the oven and bake about 20 minutes until just starting to brown.  If you wish to continue baking remove the beans and place back in oven until the crust is finished baking.  Blind baking prevents the sides of the crust from sagging down while baking.  It is used when docking (pricking all over with a fork) is not the preferred method.  Because I was going to bake the crusts again with a liquid filling I didn't want it seeping through any holes a fork would have made.  Pre-baking the pie crusts helps prevent a soggy bottom (the quiche's bottom, not yours).

While the crust is baking start preparing the vegetables.  Slice and cook the carrots until just crisp.  Remember they will continue cooking as the quiche bakes.

Slice the onions and saute in the 3 tablespoons of butter.  When the onions are soft stir in the flour.  Make sure all the flour is combined with the onions and butter.  Then stir in the milk and cook until the sauce is thickened.  

When the sauce has thickened, beat the eggs and add a little of the hot sauce to the eggs, stirring constantly.  This will temper the eggs so they will not curdle or cook when added to the hot sauce.  Once the eggs are tempered, add them to the hot onion sauce, again stirring constantly.

Swiss Cheese gives this quiche its distinctive flavour.

Once the eggs have been added to the sauce, mix in the Swiss cheese, salt, pepper, savoury, nutmeg, and any other optional seasonings.  Taste and adjust the seasonings by adding more, if desired.  Remember you can add more so don't go heavy on the salt until you've tasted.

 Fold in the carrots.

Fill the partially baked pie crusts and sprinkle on the reserved cheese.

Pop the quiche in the oven and bake until golden and puffed.

 The smaller quiche can be cut into four dinner-sized servings or 12 appetizer slices.

 A full size serving just waiting for a nice side of salad and maybe a few fried potatoes.

 For a party, these little slices are just right as a hot appetizer.


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