caramelized red onion and blue cheese quiche

my two quiches
this should have been a tale of two quiches. i was planning to bring two different quiches to a baby shower i was helping to throw today. so a few weeks ago, i started to play with quiche recipes–for fillings that is. i should make it clear that pasties and baked goods scare me, regardless of how easy people say they are to make from scratch. i buy good, frozen crusts so you won’t find any recipes for that here today, just what goes in them. quiche custards are pretty standard: 3 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of milk and/or cream for a 9″ shell. the fillings were where i wanted to get creative. but what i didn’t want to get was fat from recipe testing this. so i tested two at once…

on one side, caramelized red onion and blue cheese, and on the other roasted tomato and ramps. aside from being an efficient way to work on both recipes at once, this also appealed to the “why choose when you eat everything” side of me.

ramp/onion quiche test outcome
the quiche(s) came out great, so i felt with a few tweaks, i’d have two winners on my hands. little did i know that that night was the last time i would get to cook with ramps this year. (well almost…i’d saved some ramp bulbs and threw them raw into a basil pesto in the place of garlic and it worked fantastically.) so rather than get into the detail of roasting grape tomatoes and ramp bulbs for that quiche now, i think i’ll sit on that recipe until next may. sure, there could be substitutions for those lovely wild leeks, but how well the leaves on top worked was half the reason i was so happy with the result that i just don’t have the heart to swap them out right now.
ok, enough of mourning ramps. there are other things to live for, like creamy, sharp blue cheese…

cheese and recipe notes

caramelizing onions
i probably don’t have to tell you that blue cheese paired with something sweet is heavenly. if you love blue cheese, you probably have had it with a sweet wine, or candied walnuts, or figs, etc. but even if you don’t love blue cheese, you might be able to appreciate the marriage of a milder blue cheese melted into a rich buttery quiche with sweet caramelized-till-dark onions. a counter-balance isn’t even the point, they are simply delicious together. a case where the whole is even better than its parts, if you can imagine that. and did i mention that this is basically a three-step recipe? brown the onions, crumble the cheese, mix the eggs and milk together. and then try to stop yourself from having thirds.
caramelized red onion and blue cheese quiche

caramelized red onion and blue cheese quiche

note: i find you can use 1 1/2 cups of milk or 1 1/2 cups of cream in quiche fillings and the results are both good. obviously, the more cream you use, the richer the quiche. i like the proportions below for a filling like this, where a rich cheese is involved.
also, you want a blue cheese that, while sharp as blues should be, is milder than some so that it doesn’t overpower the quiche, and something creamy as opposed to crumbly, so that it melts well. i found blue d’auvergne was perfect for this recipe.

1 medium red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

for quiche filling:
1/4 cup mild, creamy blue cheese, like bleu d’auvergne
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 thawed 9-inch quiche/(savoury) pie crust

trim and top and bottom of onion and peel. quarter onion and cut into thin slices crosswise. 

preheat oven to 350 degrees.

heat oil in a wide, non-coated skillet over medium heat. when the oil is hot, add the onions and fry, stirring frequently. they will start to brown after 5-7 minutes but it may take twice as long to start to caramelize them. while you don’t want the onions to burn, some black bits are fine. don’t stop when the onions are juicy and golden, keep cooking and stirring so that they don’t stick to the bottom and until the sugars have browned and the onions have shrunk. depending on the size of your onion and the heat, this may take 10-15 minutes and you may only be left with 1/3 cup of onions. but the flavour will more than make up for the amount. about half way through, adjust heat if you think the onions are starting to burn, and also sprinkle with some salt.

meanwhile, break eggs into a bowl, whisk slightly to mix. add milk and cream and whisk again. add salt and pepper and mix.

place pie crust on a small roasting sheet for easy handling. distribute onions evenly in the pie shell. pour egg mixture over top. then crumble blue cheese evenly on top. bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, give or take 5 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden green and the mixture has set. remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. serve hot or at room temperature. a green salad is the ideal accompaniment .

serves 4.