Mom’s Quiche: My favorite Christmas tradition

Quiche has been my favorite food since as long as I can remember, and I only eat it on Christmas since that’s when my mom makes it. I won’t eat anyone else’s! A delicate tart of culinary distinction, the decadent dish is the perfect blend of savory richness and subtle complexity. The flaky pastry crust pairs perfectly with creamy custard, fragrant herbs, and a delightful variety of carefully-selected ingredients. An incomparable combination of flavors, the exquisite entree is sure to please the most discerning palates.

Mom’s quiche, ready to pop in the oven.

Quiche is a savory tart filled with custard, cheese, and meat- it’s basically an omelette pie. Mom’s uses store-bought pie crusts, frozen spinach, and cottage cheese. It’s much less pretentious than its French name or my description makes it sound, but it’s still my favorite food, and tucking into a piece or twelve is my favorite Christmas tradition.

I have Mom’s college friend Bonnie Guy Bingman to thank for this holiday staple. A year older, Bonnie was already off teaching in Marion, Ohio when Mom went to visit her one weekend. Mom was floored by the quiche that Bonnie served and immediately wanted a quiche pan of her own.

Mom’s sausage and cheddar quiche. This year, the pie crusts are smaller!

Mom texted me with a laughing emoji that after she married my dad in 1983, she realized that she couldn’t expect to be great at everything in the kitchen. She prioritized her talents and abandoned future attempts at making certain things. One was meatloaf, but another was pie crusts. Mom settled on Pillsbury Pet-Ritz deep dish pie crusts to make her quiches. She finally found a proper quiche pan just as rollable pie dough came to market. Unfortunately, deep-dish quiche pie crusts weren’t available this year, but we made do.

Quiche has been tradition at our family’s Christmas gatherings for as long as I can remember. Mom began serving it for the holiday because it’s hearty and because it’s different from the stratas that were popular in the 1980s that she thought to be abhorrent. Mom’s always enjoyed making at least one unique item for family get-togethers, and as busy as she usually is, Christmas quiche gives her a chance to make up for not cooking that much during the rest of the year.

Mom and Aunt Jan’s recipe for Spinach and Cottage Cheese Quiche.

Over the years, Mom’s made three varieties of quiche. Her Quiche Lorraine, with Swiss cheese and bacon, is based on the classic recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook. It dates from the days when church ladies gave girls a bridal shower and everyone contributed a recipe for her new cookbook! In fact, in those days my Grandma kept a record of all the meals she served company during the first year she was married.

Mom made up a sausage and cheddar version -long my favorite- on her own in later years, but her veggie quiche has recently taken over my top spot. I was surprised to learn that its origins are through a recipe that my Aunt Jan developed!

Aunt Jan never took credit for Mom’s quiche, but pre-made versions of the dish are available at places like Fresh Thyme. Unfortunately, they’re not my mom’s, so I’ve stuck to my guns and still only eat it on Christmas- mostly. This year, quiche was served on Thanksgiving as well. I was not displeased!

Mom’s Spinach and Cottage Cheese Quiche.pulled out of the oven.

Our Christmas celebrating was briefly derailed this year because of the threatening weather. Thankfully, Mom invited me and my brother over to exchange gifts and eat quiche. Here’s the original recipe for Aunt Jan’s Spinach and Cottage Cheese Quiche. Mom’s made some variations to it over the years, sometimes depending on what she had on hand. It always tastes the same to me- which is to say, phenomenal. Beyond all of what this holiday entails, mom’s quiche is still my favorite Christmas tradition.

Merry Christmas, everyone. And thanks again, Bonnie!

Spinach & Cottage Cheese Quiche

1 pie crust
1/2 lb. package of frozen spinach
1 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp. light cream
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and ground pepper, to taste.

1. Cook the spinach as directed, drain, and cool.
2. Beat cottage cheese, eggs, egg yolk, and cream. Add spices, then stir in spinach and mix well.
3. Pour into pie crust shell and top with parmesan cheese. 
4. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

One thought on “Mom’s Quiche: My favorite Christmas tradition

  1. I will confess to being lukewarm when it comes to quiche, but that’s probably because I didn’t grow up with it and have not tried the right one. It sounds like the sausage and cheese version would be my pick too.

    Also I am embarrassed to admit that we have no specific Christmas meal here. That sounds like something every family should have.


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