My son came up with the idea for this quiche. No, really. He came to it completely on his own, with no prodding whatsoever from his food-centric mother. This may not sound all that impressive to a lot of people, but considering the fact that most dishes invented by children tend to be either a) deliberately revolting (mud pie with worm sauce, or the ubiquitous poo sandwich), or b) something Willy Wonka would have for breakfast (chocolate chip chocolate cake pancakes with chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream), I think my son’s rather creative, yet entirely edible, recipe idea is fairly admirable. Cheese and apples are a classic pairing, and when combined in the custardy filling of a quiche, they’re the perfect savory end to a chilly fall day.
I once read that kids are 65% more likely to eat food that they have helped make. Though I find most statistics or factoids about children and their habits to be largely misleading (because if there is one thing you never, ever want to do, it’s read up on how old “most” other children are when they master toilet usage or stop lisping the sound of the letter s), my experiences with cooking with the help of children has proven this statistic to be almost universally true.
Kids like to help. They may not be very good at it (I am being honest here, so try not to gasp too loudly when I say that, look, kids are messy and uncoordinated, so when you cook with them, things are not going to look like they emerged from a professional cooking show), but allowing them to take part in an adult’s everyday activities gives them the confidence to tackle their own activities with a bit more focus and interest. Even though my kid tends to drop most items I hand him in the kitchen, splash the contents of a bowl against the wall whenever he attempts to handle a whisk, and grow incredibly tired of my repeated reminders to keep his hands away from the burners on the stove, he’s also comfortable in the kitchen and eager to assist.
I am generally loathe to dole out advice regarding the raising of a child (because there are more types of kids than there are varieties of apples and types of cheeses, and what works for a Brie will most likely not apply to a Manchego, if that makes any sense at all) but I will say that leaving a door open for your kid to explore his food, where it comes from, and how it gets made is an invaluable step towards developing a healthy and realistic relationship with food.
This is not to say that we walk around all day harvesting kale and churning our own butter. We do, however, have a kid who will approach food with creativity, and who will (as this point, at least) agree to take at least one bite of whatever new item shows up on his dinner plate. Sometimes he never gets past that first bite (sorry, green beans), but other times, as in the case of this quiche, he eats the entirety of his portion, then asks for more.
Apple and Cheese Quiche
1 parbaked single tart or savory pie crust (the recipe for my favorite savory tart and pie dough can be found here, and you can find further information in that same post about parbaking the crust)
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium apple (a somewhat firm variety works best here, but I’d stay away from a super tart variety like a Granny Smith), chopped into ¼ inch chunks, about 1 generous cup
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until thoroughly combined. Add in cheeses, apple, and spices, and stir to combine. Pour filling into a parbaked pie crust set on top of a baking sheet.
Bake quiche on the center rack of the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the center has set and the top of the quiche is puffed up and golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.