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impossible mushroom quiche

January 23, 2015

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Years ago – when the Bean was a bean and we lived in the Hills Shire of Sydney, when the horses wandered up to the gate at the end of the street looking for an apple, when we ran around barefoot with sticks – back then, my mama worked at a day care center.

Twenty-five years ago, Australia didn’t look like it did now. Asian groceries were mailed in from overseas, or sourced from tiny stores in far-off suburbs. Pork belly was rare and chicken feet were given away by the butcher for free. Immigrants made do with what could be bought and grew the rest in their backyards.

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Every now and then, mama would bring some food into work with her. A couple of kuih from a weekend celebration, a container of rice with curry from the night before, and her colleagues would clamour around to see what she had. Her Greek friends did the same, and her Lebanese friends.

We learnt more about international cuisine from mama’s stories than we did from the places we ate out at.

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And then, one day, a challenge.

Every week, two staff members were assigned the task of bringing in a dish or two from their personal recipe collection. The rest of the staff would vote on the best, and at the end of the year, a little cookbook would be printed with all of the proceeds going towards new equipment for the center.

We were so proud of our mama when the A5 booklet came home – printed on yellow paper and stapled in the top left hand corner. She had two recipes in it! Two!

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My mama was more excited, though, because she finally had the recipe for Val’s Impossible Quiche. A recipe she’d been trying to get her hands on for over a year. (And for years, my sister and I knew of no other variety – pastry quiches weren’t even on our radar).

It looks like a quiche. It tastes like a quiche. But it’s impossible in that there’s no pastry to deal with whatsoever. Impossible because a medley of dry ingredients is laid out on the bottom of a pie dish, with the liquid tipped on top.

There’s no mixing or water baths or low and slow temperatures, but some how (Lord knows how!) it emerges from the oven as a fluffy, hearty quichey slice with a heft to the base and a bronze top.

Impossible!

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So when I was asked by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association* to put together a recipe that screamed “Summer!” and “Quick & Easy!” and “Something Reasonable For All This Hot Weather!”, my mind turned straight back to Val and the Hills and my mum proudly pulling a quiche out of a scorching oven on a 40C Australia Day.

Except in this version, the ham and tomatoes have been replaced by a big bag of mushrooms.

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Baked the night before (or in the cool hours of the morning), my ‘shroomed-up version of Val’s impossible quiche would make a fantastic addition to Australia Day celebrations – eaten cool by the pool or wrapped up for a picnic lunch. No pastry means no worries about keeping the butter cool and a short list of ingredients will (hopefully) save you a trip to the shops in peak Public Holiday hours.

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We had one each for dinner the other night, Koji and I, and he declared it his favourite meal that week.

Luckily for him, we’ve got six portions left in the freezer.

Unluckily for him, they’re slated to make an appearance on the table come Monday, where he’ll have to battle for his share. (But he doesn’t know that yet!)

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impossible mushroom quiche
Recipe type: main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
When the mercury is rising and time is short, these "cheat's" quiches are a lifesaver. This recipe will make enough to feed eight in either eight individual pie dishes or two family sized dishes. Wrapped well, they can be stored in the freezer and reheated in the oven when needed. I used a mixture of grated pecorino, a slightly squishy Edam and some parmigiano reggiano for my mixed hard cheeses, because that's what I like and have on hand.
Ingredients
  • 3 large field mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • ¾ C plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 C shredded mozerella cheese
  • ½ C grated mixed hard cheese (pick ones with strong flavours)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 C (500ml) milk
  • 1 C (250ml) cream
  • 250g mixed mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter or oil
How to make it
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and lightly grease your pie dishes. I've used either 8 ceramic pie dishes or 2 family sized pie dishes for this quantity.
  2. Wipe the large mushrooms with a damp paper towel and chop them into thick slices and then again in half. Heat the butter and oil in a pan and sautee the mushrooms with some thyme leaves, salt and pepper until they have darkened and are cooked through.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder and cheeses in a large bowl, then add the cooked mushrooms and toss it about so that the mushrooms are covered in the floury mixture.
  4. Put even amounts of the mixture into the base of the pie dishes and spread it out so that the mushrooms cover the base of the pie dish. Try to get around the same amounts of flour and cheese in each.
  5. In the same bowl as you used before, whisk together the eggs, milk and cream until it is quite smooth.
  6. Pour even amounts of the egg and milk mixture into the pie dishes. Do not mix the flour and egg mixtures, but if there are mushrooms poking out of the top of the layer of egg, use your finger to prod them under the surface.
  7. Put the pie dishes on a tray (this is mainly so you don't have to worry about spillage!) and pop them in the oven to bake. The smaller pie dishes will only take 20 minutes to bake, but the family sized ones will take about an hour. You'll be able to tell that they are done when the top is a burnished brown and the centre is puffed up.
  8. While you're waiting for the quiches to bake, sautee the remaining mushrooms in a bit of butter or oil as a topping.
  9. You can serve the quiches in the pie tins with a pinch of extra mushroom on top, or unmould them once they're cool.

This post was sponsored by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association. Check out more recipes, top tips on how to store and eat mushrooms and information on the Power of Mushrooms at www.powerofmushrooms.com.au


  • #1
    Noelene
    January 27th, 2015

    Love this idea. Reminds me of one my Aunty used to make…. Will give it a whirl with these gorgeous mushrooms!

  • #2
    January 28th, 2015

    […] Impossible Mushroom Quiche – onebitemore […]

  • #3
    January 29th, 2015

    When I was a ninja younger,
    Slow of foot and short of sword,
    All my dojo had a hunger
    For laksa that wasn’t thawed,
    Sambal to go with our curry,
    Fish-balls made of nameless fish;
    All these things weren’t in a hurry
    To present upon our dish.
    Not to mention bak chor mee,
    Non-intubated wasabi,
    Uni, toro, kuih pie tee,
    Ikan bil- fried anchovy…
    But all these things we take for granted
    In our modern melting-pot;
    We’ve got all we ever wanted,
    Impossible? Eh, also got.

  • #4
    Bigbite
    February 1st, 2015

    Thanks for bringing back sweet memories… I totally forgot how hard mama work to not only save some money eating out but provided us delicious and sumptuous meals like this. And she still ale the most delicious quiche!

Shez