You would think that I’d know better than to try a new recipe out on Christmas Day. Whether it was foolhardiness or simple arrogance in my abilities to pull it off, I decided to make a recipe I saw in the Jamie Oliver Magazine for a chocolate Buche De Noel that looked delicious. It didn’t contain any flour so I thought it would be a perfect treat for my husband who has difficulties with gluten. My mom brought her jelly roll pan since I was determined to do it right and having the right equipment often helps get a good result.
I thought that the cake would roll up just fine even though it was made by separating the eggs and folding the whipped egg whites back into the yolks that had been combined with cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and cooled espresso. The paucity of instructions and my lack of familiarity with cakes like this led to the first go around being underdone so I had to chuck it. It was a mess. This was also the first go around of Christmas dessert making swearing.
Determined to make this cake work, my mother and I tried it again. This time with a better idea of the baking time and when NOT to take it out of the oven lest it be a pasty mess when transferring it out of the pan. We followed the directions, did everything right but when it came time to unroll the cake that we had rolled up to cool in the form of a log, well, dessert literally fell apart. Not just little cracks that could easily be put back together to roll it up with the brandy laced whipped cream that is in the recipe. Nope, it was in about a dozen pieces. Nothing says Merry Christmas like muttering curse words alongside your mother as you feebly try and fix a broken cake.
After two tries, the time for Christmas dinner was fast approaching. Mom and I decided to say – well, you can imagine what words we said. We decided to turn this gorgeous, rich chocolate cake into a chocolate and raspberry trifle. Hell, the cake was already broken into pieces so we just had to layer it up with the whipped cream and icing that we had prepared for the Buche de Noel. Some raspberries that were in the fridge for snacks were called into action to help give new life to a failed dessert. The verdict on the dessert was that it was delicious. It just wasn’t presented in the form we had originally planned on.
While I may not have a new Christmas tradition of making disastrous recipes on Christmas Day, I do have quiche every Christmas morning. My mom started making this on Christmas Eve when I was a kid. The oven would be busy with the turkey on Christmas Day, so it had to be made on Christmas Eve as part of the building excitement for the big day. We reheat it in the oven because I find food is less soggy and more evenly heated through this way. Mom’s recipe for the filling is different than mine, but I tend to put my own twist on things.
This make-ahead dish is perfect for Christmas morning. You can have something filling and there is very little clean-up. This means you can get right back to gift opening, Christmas movie watching, gingerbread eating, and indulging in all the chocolate you found in your stocking.
For the quiche recipe, use any pie dough recipe that you like. I have included my tried and true pie dough recipe below in case you want to use it. If you need some visual reference for how I roll it out, then have a peak at post I did for apple pie. I have some photos of the process there. As for the filling, you can really use anything you like: some broccoli, sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, or just go with cheese and bacon. If you are using a smaller pie plate than a deep dish one, you can reduce the filling volume by taking out a half cup of milk and two eggs. You don’t want an eggy mess on the bottom of your oven if you over fill your dish.
Can I say that I learned my lesson about not trying new recipes on the day of important meals or when you have guests coming? Nah, probably not. Mom and I had great fun together, swear words and all. I will keep making quiche for every Christmas morning so I know we will have something to eat if any of the new recipes I make flop. If you have a sense of humour, kitchen disasters make great memories.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Egg Farmers of Canada and I have been compensated monetarily. All opinions are my own.
This pie dough uses half butter and half lard. The result is an easy to work with and versatile dough. It makes one double crust pie.
40 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
1 hr, 25 Total Time
- 5 thin slices pancetta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot (or 2 small)
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk
- pinch of pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- 70 g (2.5 oz) goat's cheese
- 21/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cold lard, cubed
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp cold water
- Take one disc of prepared pie dough (see below recipe or use your favourite pie dough recipe) and roll it out. Fit it into either a deep dish pie plate or use a quiche dish with a removable bottom which is what is used in the photos). Once it is rolled out and in the preferred vessel, put it in the fridge until the filling is ready.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F and set the rack on the lowest level.
- Thinly slice the shallot into half moons and set aside.
- Cut the pancetta into bite size pieces, about 2 cm, and sautee in a frying pan with the olive oil until the pancetta is crispy.
- Remove the pancetta but leave the oil in the pan and sautee the shallot in the oil until soft and starting to brown slightly. Set the cooked shallot aside with the pancetta.
- In a large glass measuring bowl, crack in 6 eggs and lightly beat with a fork.
- Pour in the milk and mix it around with the fork as well. Then add the cheddar, pancetta, shallot, and thyme.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie dish and add the goat's cheese by pinching off pieces of it and dotting it around the savoury custard.
- If you are using a quiche pan with a removable bottom, place it on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean up). If you don't, then the fat will drip out onto the bottom of your oven and smoke like crazy or catch fire. If you are using a regular glass or ceramic pie dish then the cookie sheet isn't necessary.
- Bake the quiche at 425 F for 12-15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for a further 25-35 minutes. It is done when it is getting a little golden on top, starts to soufflee around the perimeter and the centre is set (not runny anymore).
- Let it sit 10-15 minutes before serving.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, butter, lard, salt and sugar together until you get pea sized pieces of the fat.
- Pour in the liquid all at once and pulse until the dough becomes a large ball.
- Turn it out onto a floured surface and shape it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and shape each half into a disc and wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling. You will only need one disc of dough for this quiche recipe, so tightly wrap the second disc and put it in your freezer for another day.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on a board or on the counter. Dust it with flour and put one of the discs of dough on it. Dust the top of the dough with flour as well.
- Put another piece of parchment paper on top and begin rolling out the dough. As the dough gets pressed out, lift off the parchment and dust with flour. Turn the dough a quarter turn and use the bottom piece of parchment to lift the dough up so you can dust the underside of the dough with flour as well as the top side. Use the parchment as an extension of you hands so you touch the dough as little as possible.
- Roll the dough out so that it fits the dimension of your pan or pie plate. If using a deep dish pie plate, then about 13" in diameter will be large enough.
- Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and unroll it over top of the pie plate. Gently fit the dough into the dish. If it tears while pressing it in, just dab you fingers in a little water and press the tears back together.
- If you are using a pie plate, to create a crimped edge: place your index fingers 1 cm (1/2") apart on the edge of the dough and push the dough up with your thumb between your two fingers. Repeat around the circumference of the pie to create a crimped edge.