Mushroom-Cheddar Quiche: not all pies are sweet

Remember Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, that 1982 fun-poking paean to masculinity?

Well, thankfully, that statement was never true.

I mean, think of the King, with his “four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie” – surely that savory (to say nothing of copious) filling qualifies the King’s pie as quiche.

Pie doesn’t have to be sweet. And when it’s not, it’s often called – you guessed it – quiche.

In fact, many of the first pies on record were savory, not sweet. In ancient Greece, a basic flour/water pastry was used to encase meat, sealing in its juices as it cooked.

Still, sweet pies weren’t far behind: the Romans enjoyed libum, cheese filling in a pastry crust equivalent to our modern-day cheesecake.

So, pie’s been known and enjoyed throughout history. And for good reason – who doesn’t love a slice of great pie, with its flaky pastry and tasty filling?

Yet, how many of us bake pie as often as we do bread, muffins, or cookies?

It’s kind of a production, right? And that’s mostly because of the crust. Making filling is usually no more complicated than stirring together ingredients. But oh, that crust…

Raise your hand if you’ve resorted to store-bought, freezer-case pie crust. I see quite a few hands out there…

Yes, the ease of store-bought crust is enticing. But the flavor?

Meh. Not so good.

I’ve always said, if you can read, you can bake. And that goes for pie crust as much as yeast bread, cake, biscuits, and anything else that includes a bit of technique.

Pie crust anxiety? Just take it step by step. Check out Frozen Supermarket Pie Crust: Puh-LEEZE! for a thorough deconstruction of pie crust.

Secrets for making the perfect pie crust is a faster, simpler lesson.

Or, just keep reading this post.

I’m here to tell you, real men CAN make quiche. As can real women.

It’s easy as… well, as pie.

Let’s tackle the crust first.

Whisk together the following:

3/4 cup (3 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Hi-maize Fiber; or substitute 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Vermont cheese powder, for flavor; optional
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, for flavor; optional
1/2 teaspoon salt

Using your fingers, a fork, a pastry blender, or mixer, work in 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (cut in 1/2″ cubes). The mixture will be crumbly, but unevenly crumbly; some pieces of butter should remain in bigger chunks.

Toss in 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Then drizzle in 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water, tossing the mixture around and stirring until it becomes cohesive. Note: If you use flour instead of Hi-maize, you’ll probably need up to 4 tablespoons water.

Once you can squeeze the dough and it holds together, shape it into a rough disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.

Heat  2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat in a large pan until foaming. Add 1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium onion), and cook for 5 minutes.

Add 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced; cook until the mushrooms start to lose their juices, about 10 minutes.

Mix in 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped; 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh); 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to combine; remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface. If it’s been refrigerated longer than 30 minutes, give it 5 to 10 minutes to soften up a bit.

Roll the crust into a 1/4″ thick disk, about 12″ to 12 1/2″ in diameter.

Next, gently settle the crust into a 9″ pie pan. Notice my crust wasn’t quite 12″, so it’s a little scanty around the edges of the pan. It pays to roll the crust to the suggested size. DOH.

Squeeze the edges of the crust between your fingers so they’re not raggedy, then crimp.

You want to make a tall crimp, rather than simply flattening the edges of the crust with a fork; a taller crust helps contain a liquid filling, which quiches always have.

Line the bottom of the crust with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Spoon the mushroom mixture on top.

Whisk together 8 large eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour this mixture into the crust.

Set the pie pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If there are any leaks, the parchment/pan will save you some cleanup. Plus, the baking sheet makes it easier to transport the quiche into the oven without spills.

Bake the quiche for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edge of the crust is brown, and the filling appears set.

It may not look completely set in the center…

…but if the center reads at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, you’re all set. It’s all set. We’re ALL set.

I love how the mushrooms brown on top; little bits of yolk add extra color, too.

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes or so, then slice.

For prettier, cleaner slices, let it cool a bit longer.

If you cool the quiche completely, refrigerate, slice, then warm individual pieces very briefly in the microwave, you get this kind of very clean cut. Pretty, huh?

But remember: beauty is only crust deep; it’s the taste that counts!

Please read, bake, and review our recipe for Mushroom-Cheddar Quiche.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Mother of Pearl

    I have found that when I make quiche if I call it quiche, the children won’t eat it, but if I call it egg pie, then they love it. Because quiche sounds strange but they like eggs and who doesn’t love pie, so why not love egg pie?

    Ah, the power of a name! Good thinking, Mom – PJH

  2. zekebadboy

    I’m so glad to see your recipes are including temp as a done ness gauge. It takes out the guess work! Haven’t tried this but certainly intend to do so!

    Yes, I do rely on my thermometer a lot – we’re gradually building up a “library” of done baking times. Glad you like it – PJH

  3. Meadow Mitchell

    For your information, “Sing a Song of Sixpence” was originally a recruiting song for Blackbeard the Pirate!

    Here is a link from Snopes about this song that I would recommend reading:

    And here is an exerpt:
    “Four and twenty blackbirds / Baked in a pie
    “It was a favorite trick in the sixteenth century to conceal all sorts of surprises in a pie.” Buccaneers, too, were fond of surprises, and one of Blackbeard’s favorite ruses to lure a ship within boarding range was to make his own vessel (or crew) appear to be in distress, typically by pretending to have been dismasted in a storm or to have sprung a leak below the waterline. Passing ships — both honest sailors wanting to help and other pirates looking for an easy catch — would sail in close to offer assistance, whereupon a crew of two dozen heavily-armed seamen dressed in black would board the other vessel (via a boat in darkness or fog, or by simply jumping into the other ship when it came alongside if no other means of surprise attack was possible) to quickly kill or disable as many crew members as possible. Thus the four and twenty “blackbirds” (i.e., Blackbeard’s crewmen) “baked in a pie” (i.e., concealed in anticipation of springing a trap).”

    And this is from Wikipedia about birds in a pie:
    “It is known that a 16th-century amusement was to place live birds in a pie. An Italian cookbook from 1549 (translated into English in 1598) contained such a recipe: “to make pies so that birds may be alive in them and flie out when it is cut up” ”

    Thought you might find it interesting!
    Thanks so much for sharing Meadow. I’d heard of the live bird pies before, but never the pirate version. Ye be a good matey! ~ MaryJane

  4. Anne

    I just came off PJ’s post of kitchen disasters, April Foolishness, and here I find this perfectly serene looking quiche! Pie making actually was my first major baking flop. But it ended well: That day I read and read again the recipe before I proceeded to making the crust for my first-ever apple pie. But after some struggling and wrestling with the dough, that mess in front of me definitely did not resemble any of the step-by-step pictures. Luckily my friend Eleanor lived nearby. She came to my rescue as soon as she got my SOS call. A look at the dough and Eleanor declared the casualty fatal, and advised a start over. That was many years ago, when I was a young bride still in the middle of college. Unfortunately over the years Eleanor and I have lost touch. But I still remember with fondness and gratitude the morning she dropped everything and came to help me make my first pie.

  5. fran16250

    I am one of those who makes pie more than bread. I think pie crust is a cynch. Be brave, give it a go; there is no better tutorial than King Arthur Flour (except maybe a dear friend by your side) Whenever I make pie crust I usually make double so I have a spare crust for a quiche.
    My mother used to say “if you can read you can cook”.
    Quiche is one of my favorite foods. When I use ham in a quiche I will give it a quick saute first to get some of the water out so it does not make my quiche runny. I usually use about four eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk or cream. I am going to try your proportions next time. Glad to know what the internal temp should be.
    I love how versatile quiche is. You can put darn near anything in it. I particularly like crabmeat. I’m thinking some asparagus and crab w/ Jarlsberg for Easter bruch sounds pretty good. Happy Easter, Happy Spring!

  6. dgstarbuck

    This looks beautiful!! Do you think this would work for individual quiches in a muffin pan? If so, are any recipe changes necessary? Also, how long can you store it in the fridge? I’m always looking for make ahead breakfast items and I wish this was what I had for breakfast this morning!!

    No reason not to give it a try. Watch out when filling the cups. Muffin cups are more “straight sided” than a pie plate, pie dough tends to slide down. You may need to blind bake the mini crusts before filling. Happy Baking! Frank @ KAF.

  7. sleeloo

    So just to confirm, you did not pre-bake the crust at all? Is there any particular reason why you did not? Thanks!

    Correct, this recipe is prepared using a raw crust. Why? This recipe falls into the “quick and easy” category. You can always blind bake the crust if you prefer a crisper/flakier presentation, Adjust the baking time as needed after adding the filling. Frank @ KAF.

  8. HMB

    I ALMOST didn’t read this post, because I make quiche pretty regularly and don’t have trouble with the crust … but then I figured I might as well take a quick look because PJ’s a great writer and it would be interesting and/or entertaining even if I didn’t learn anything. But, of course, no matter how much you know, you can ALWAYS learn SOMEthing … and that tip about adding some dry mustard to the crust is just brilliant and I don’t know why I never thought of that myself, since I love the taste of mustard with cheese and eggs. Thanks, again, PJ!

  9. "sandra Alicante"

    A tip here. To make the pastry case more easily, just before you lift it in, LIGHTLY dust with flour and fold into quarters. This makes it easier to lift and centre in the pan. Simply put the point into the middle and unfold.
    Secondly, you really do need a good tasty Cheddar. None of this plastic stuff. In the UK it will be labelled as Vintage, Extra Mature or some such. Go somewhere where you can actually taste a piece if possible. It really does make all the difference.


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