Gray rainy (grainy?) day quiche

Despite the fuzzy image, the apple-bacon-blue cheese quiche is clearly a treat. Also clearly a smidge overbaked.

OK, any day’s good for a well-made quiche, but it seems particularly appropriate on this gloomy-gus Wednesday while we deal with the last of the germs that accompanied us home from our recent trip to Baltimore, Boston and Gettysburg.

Quiche is easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy. It’s soft and comforting as a baby’s “lovey” (what my kids called their security blankets), gentle on the tastebuds, the digestion and not even too horrible on the calorie count.You can’t eat it everyday, but it can certainly be a once-in-a-while treat at any of the daily meals. And it follows the nutritional guidelines that suggest making cured meat and cheese more like condiments.

Mark Bittman of The New York Times just published this quiche recipe, which includes a flaky crust from scratch. I’m too lazy to make the crust, am almost always happy with Pillsbury. I am in possession of my mother’s no-fail piecrust recipe and it is (no-fail), but I’m not nearly as inclined to suffer for my art as was she.

If you’re a big rosemary fan, you might up the one teaspoon minced. That amount adds to the full mouth taste of this quiche, but you never feel like you’re munching on pine branches. If you like that feeling, mince more!

Bacon and apple quiche

Piecrust for 9-inch deep dish

8 to 10 slices of good bacon (seriously, is there BAD bacon?), cooked to a crisp, drained (1 tablespoon fat reserved) and crumbled

2 large apples, peeled, cored and then grated or chopped (I used Granny Smiths and liked the way they stood up to the other flavors)

Salt (1/2 teaspoon?) and freshly ground pepper (to taste) 

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, minced

1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (can use reduced-fat)

4 eggs, room temperature

1-1/3 cups cream (might try whole milk next time — this time I was using up the leftover whipping cream from the holidays)

Prepare piecrust however you wish; transfer to pie plate and crimp edges. Heat oven to 425 with a rack in the middle.  Line crust with double layer of foil; cover with dry beans, uncooked rice or pie weights. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until crust begins to brown, remove from oven and reduce heat to 375.

Add 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat to skillet and fry chopped apples with salt, pepper and rosemary. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently to prevent rosemary scorching, until apples are soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Spread cooked apples in pie crust (pie weights and foil removed, obviously), sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

Whisk together eggs and cream. Put shell with apple, bacon and cheese on baking sheet and pour in egg mixture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until almost firm (it should still jiggle a little in the middle) and lightly browned on top. Cool on rack for a few minutes and serve warm, cold or room temp. Serves 6.

Just because the weather COULD be worse. This is our upstairs bathroom the day after the July 2005 tornado that removed our roof and dumped 10 inches of rain in an hour! My friend Maggie's photo looks like a Dali painting to me.

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