More than 15 years ago, in early November 2000, my then boyfriend, and now husband, Ed, came to visit me in Milan. That was his first trip to Italy, and that is when he first met my parents.
Ed was nervous. He asked me, please, not to leave him alone with my parents for too long; Ed didn’t speak any Italian then, and my parents didn’t speak much English. Thank goodness, my brother was there, and he helped with the translation.
Though, it didn’t take long, for all of them to hit it off. Laughs and comfort took over pretty soon, and Ed found himself with a glass of wine in his hands, sitting on the couch, communicating with my father as if they had met many times before.
That evening my mother made one of her signature dishes: quiche di cipolle – onion quiche. It had always been a winner, and she played it safe, probably much more nervous about the evening that she had led me to think.
My husband has wonderful memories of that incredible evening – the first of many with my family. He still remembers what he wore, and especially he remembers the delicious quiche that my mom had prepared. A few years later, he asked me if I could bake it for him. So, I called my mom and asked for the recipe. She had saved it from one of my Weight Watchers periods, and sent it to me via email. And here it is, with her annotations, “molto buono.” Ed certainly thought so.
My mom uses puff pastry, frozen or refrigerated, as a a base for the quiche, instead of the pasta da pane – pizza dough, indicated in the recipe. I usually make a pie crust to go with it. And this time, I decided to try a different pie crust recipe than the one I posted for my apple pie. I find this crust easier to handle, and because of the eggs in it, it take less time in the oven to become golden brown, and so it’s more tender.
The pie crust recipe is inspired by the King Arthur Flour gluten-free pie recipe
Pie Crust – for a double 9″ pie crust
Simona’s Flour Mix 2 cups (11 oz)
Granulated sugar 2 Tablespoons (1 oz)
Salt 1 teaspoon
Unsalted butter, cold 12 Tablespoons (6 oz)
Egg 2 large
Apple cider vinegar 1 Tablespoon
Cold water 1/4 cup (2 oz)
Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt, then cut in the butter until crumbly – this time I used a food processor and pulsed the butter into the flour mix. Add the eggs, one at the time. Drizzle vinegar and the cold water over the mixture to make it cohesive, tossing till it begins to come together.
Gather it into a ball, divide in half, flatten each half slightly, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, in plastic wrap.
Gluten-free Onion Quiche – revisited
Olive oil 1 Tablespoon
Onions, medium 2, finely sliced
Vegetable bouillon cubes (I used Herb Ox, gluten-free) 1 cube
Eggs 2 large
Cream or whole milk 1/4 cup (2 oz)
Swiss cheese, grated 1/2 cup (2 oz)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and saute, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water, and the vegetable bouillon. Turn the heat to low, cover and let the onions cook until wilt, about 20 minutes. Stir a few times, and after 20 minutes or so take the lid off, and let the water evaporate. Keep an eye on the onions, though, or they will burn. Remove from the stove and let them cool down.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whisk the eggs and cream – or milk, and add the grated swiss cheese. Add the cooled onions, and adjust of salt and pepper.
Use a 9″ tart pan, with removable bottom, grease it and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Take one of the pie dough disks out of the refrigerator – the other can be frozen for up to three months, for your next use. Roll it between plastic wrap, to fit the tart pan. Pour the filling inside the tart, and spread evenly.
Place the pan on a baking sheet, so that any spill won’t burn in your oven.
Bake for 30 minutes, then check and turn, and bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown.