Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quiche Lorraine

Many years ago my mother in law shared her recipe for Quiche Lorraine and it became a favorite recipe of mine. Sometimes for dinner I enjoy a simpler meal with just a side salad but yet something very tasty and enjoyable made with the freshest ingredients.

We lost my mother in law this past Fall, she lived a good and wonderful life of 96 years and when I came across this recipe the other day it was a nice reminder of that lovely lady.

Quiche Loraine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 1/2 cups half and half
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
dash pepper
2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour
8 slices of cooked bacon, chopped or 3/4 cups ham, diced in small pieces
9-inch pie crust

Combine the half and half, eggs and seasonings and whisk them together.

Toss the cheese and flour together. Add in the meat to this mixture. Place the flour/cheese mixture in the bottom of the pie plate that you have placed the crust. Pour in the egg mixture and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

My Notes: I cooked this about  fifteen minutes longer because I like to get a nice brown top. Also, if you are using ham and the ham is a little salty you may want to cut back on the salt.

It is a great way to use up any leftover ham but also a little lighter dinner meaning not such a large dinner. Pared with a simple salad this is a very comforting dinner.

The Gruyere cheese makes this quiche a little creamier. It is a delicious but simple recipe and I think that is why I enjoy it so much. It's even better warmed the next day too. Preparing this recently was a nice reminder of my lovely mother in law.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A new twist on an old Southern Favorite

Recently I bought a cookbook, I am, of course, a cookbook addict and buy at least two a week. The local book stores just seem to be a magnet for me and I always head straight for the cookbook section. One of my newer selections was At Home with Magnolia by Allysa Torey. Magnolia Bakery is in New York city and Allysa is the owner. This book I found to be quite charming.
There are many excellent recipes shared in this book but one I found particularly interesting was this Hazelnut Buttermilk Pie and I was most anxious to try it. It is a little bit different twist on the usual buttermilk pie. Being the Southerner that I am this was a MUST for me to prepare and I was not disappointed.

Hazelnut Buttermilk Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons ice water

3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/4 cups chopped hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 400* F

To make the crust: Place the flour in a large bowl and, using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the pieces are pea-size. (If you don't have a pastry blender, my editor Justin suggests that you can also use two kinves, in a crossing pattern, to cut the shortening into the flour mixture.) Sprinkle the ice water by tablespoons over the flour mixture, and toss with a fork until all the dough is moistened. Gather the dough into a ball, roll out on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9-inch glass pie dish, and trim, leaving 1/2 inch around the edge. Fold the edges under all around the rim and crimp. Prick all over the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork. Place the crust on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, about 35 minutes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350*F.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugars, until creamy and well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, vanilla, and salt and beat well. Add the melted butter and beat well. Stir in the buttermik.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the top of the pie.

Return to the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Cool on a wire rack for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. This pie is best served at room temperature, not warm.


I have made this pie twice now and I can honestly say, it is the BEST I have ever made. The hazelnuts sprinkled on the top get toasted which brings out the flavor of the nuts. I also liked the addition of the brown sugar and the extra egg yolk gave it a richer taste. If you like Buttermilk Pie as I do you will NOT be disappointed in this recipe.

Just out of the oven and the first time I made this pie I used a pie plate that was not deep enough. This fluted pie plate is one by Rose Levy Beranbaum and my favorite pie plate. It is about 2 inches deep.

Mr. Picky Eater absolutely loved this pie. It's not overly sweet but does satisfy ones sweet tooth.

It was quite simply DELICIOUS!!!!!

Another thing I would like to share is, I make my own vanilla which is so very easy to make. I have used several different liquors to make it, Dark Rum, Vodka and Cognac. Each are very good and I often gift my friends with my homemade vanilla. However, I have come to realize that my most favorite is using Cognac.

Sometimes I will take one of those vanilla beans out and use the seeds in other things such as when making vanilla ice cream, so amazing. Vanilla is easy to make, start with a very clean jar, pour in your liquor of choice and add about four vanilla beans. I do run a knife down the middle of the vanilla bean before adding but when I am getting a little low I just add more liquor and a couple more vanilla beans. I recently took one of the beans out and placed it in an air tight container, added some sugar and it will make an amazing sugar for tea or coffee. As you can see, this particular bottle has been steeping for a few years. You will be surprised at the taste difference from store bought.

I am linking my post to Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum. You will find a multitude of wonderful recipes shared by clicking HERE.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sunday Brunch

In my last post I shared my newest collection of blue and white porcelain and the fact that we were having a chilly and rainy morning,  that same Sunday we had some friends in for brunch, a celebration of sorts.

Using again my new love of blue and white. This compote is new and I think looks wonderful hosting lemons which adds to the color scheme.

I used some of one of my Depression Glass collections, the yellow Madrid pattern. This was a collection started by my mother which she handed down to me. This collection has a story.

My mothers collection began with a few of these fruit cups given to her by my Great Grandmother. In those days these beautiful glass ware pieces came in detergent packages. When my mother received these lovely little compote's she then decided to begin a much larger collection.

She added these bowls and the plates and I have service for eight. The plates are more of a luncheon plate but yet perfect for a Sunday morning brunch.

I love the cups and saucers but the glasses are so very versatile. Perfect for a Mimosa at brunch or even iced tea for a ladies luncheon.

My charger, I used one of my everyday plates, Vilroy & Boch, Auden Ferme. With a yellow rim it was perfect as a charger and also added to the color scheme.
I am very fond of birds and always like to add them in for just a bit of whimsy.

My compote is another of my new blue and white "finds".

Since it was such a rainy, overcast, and dank day why we needed to light the candles. Even in mid-morning for it was a celebration of sorts.
I don't often use my Depression Glass collection but it seemed perfect for this table setting.
You can left click onto any photo to enlarge it.

I am linking my post to Susan's Tablescape Thursday. There are so many shared ideas and you can see them by clicking HERE.