helen corbitt’s quiche lorraine

Helen Corbitt's Quiche LorraineChampagne & Lorraine

When I first met this recipe’s name I presumed Helen Corbitt was one of my Mom’s dear friends. Like many of the old recipes that found their way into my Mom’s cookbook they were often penned with a name giving a clue linking us back to the the recipe’s origin.Joskes Department Store PostcardA few curious clicks later I stumbled upon this Texas Monthly article from December 1999 (the turn of our century) that revealed who Helen was – her connection to Texas and to food. With culinary ties to the University of Texas, the Houston Country Club, Joske’s Department Store, the Driskill Hotel, and Neiman Marcus, Helen’s craft touched the hearts of many. While she may not have loved Texas from the start, the people of our great state eventually won her heart. So we can tip our hat to her for staying here and pioneering the way for better days. Helen earned the title “Tastemaker of the Century,” undoubtedly an honor for any foodie who loves cuisine and sharing it with others.

I know my Mom “Betty” loved quiche because I’ve found a handful of eggy recipes in her cookbook. I love how simple quiche is to prepare and share… and how changing 1 or 2 ingredients can magically transform the taste.

Let’s enjoy a slice of the good life and raise a toast to our “forefoodies”
~ Cling Cling / Cheers!  🍾 🍾 🍾 🍾 🍾

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine
Foodie Tips

❤  “Light cream” always trips me up. I look for it at the grocery store and often shake my fist at the sky when I cannot find it. Sometimes called “coffee cream” or “table cream,” light cream is a tad bit higher in fat than half-and-half. So what. Who cares?

❤  While I slightly overbaked the crust, the quiche itself turned out great! Try using a silicon pie crust shield to help prevent your dough from burning. I shudder to think what my quiche would have looked like without it. #charcoal? :)

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine

❤  I hope to become an “aficionado” at the meat counter soon. When I read “thin sliced” ham I guessed it was a thickness of 2. On the next go of this recipe I’ll try a 1.

❤  My Mom loved quiche. And if you’re still reading this post I’m guessing you do, too! Check out this recipe where I wax on about the origins of quiche and its relationship to my hometown, San Antonio.

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine Swiss Cheese

i. Time

Total prep: About 40 minutes.

ii. Ingredients

8 inch | pie crust
4 slices | bacon, crisped and chopped
4 | thin slices of onion, sautéed
8 | paper thin slices of ham, shredded
8 | paper thin slices of swiss cheese, sliced
3 | cage free eggs
¼ teaspoon | dry mustard
1 cup | light cream, heated
a dash | nutmeg
Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine Onions

iii. What to do

1. Prepare the pie crust according to the instructions. Mom wrote hers was baked at 450°F for about 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle the bacon and onion over the pie crust. Add ½ of the ham then top with 4 slices of the cheese. Wait – we’re not done! This is Texas! Repeat the layering again – add the rest of the ham and the last 4 slices of cheese.

3. Beat the egg and mustard. Add the heated light cream and continue beating. Pour the egg mixture over the layers of ham and cheese. Let things “stand” for 10 minutes. Is your stomach growling yet?

4. Sprinkle a tiny bit of nutmeg on top of the quiche then bake it at 350°F until this custard is set (about 15-20 minutes).

Helen Corbitt's Quiche Lorraine

Serves: One to a few, depending on your ability to resist deliciousness.

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

In Case You Missed It…

Honored in 1999 as “Tastemaker of the Century” by Texas Monthly Magazine, Helen Corbitt may have not have loved Texas as much as those who were born here but she became enchanted with the unique blend of Texans and their love for food. If the stories I’ve read are true (and I bet they are), Helen had a lot to do with the culinary cultivation of our state introducing our fore-parents to artichokes, raspberries, soufflés, Texas Caviar, and surprising creations limited only by the stars.

I don’t know if my Mom, Betty, knew Helen. But I know they shared the love of great food… so Helen is as much a family member as one can wish for.

With the love of food, all things are possible. ###

 


brandied pumpkin flan

Pumpkin Flan On Fire

This recipe is dedicated to my foster family in Italy ~ the hospitality
they shared was bigger than Texas! 
I’ll never forget us uniting over this dish during “Tex Mex Night” in Tuscany. 

~      ~

A flan on fire? 

You betcha! This is one of the most amazing recipes that made my Mom look more magician than chef.

When I was growing up this flan was typically served at Thanksgiving. When it was time for dessert the lights would be dimmed and Mom placed the flan in the middle of the table and lit the brandy. Widening eyes were aglow. Pure deliciousness on many levels!

I was on holiday in Italy when I made this recipe for the very first time; it was something that we had for dessert for “Tex Mex Night.” A memory for a lifetime.

i. ingredients

¾ cup | sugar
1 cup | canned or cooked pumpkin
1 cup | milk
1 cup | light cream (Coffee mate “Original” flavor works great)
6 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sugar
½ teaspoon | salt
2 teaspoons | vanilla extract
⅓ cup | brandy
boiling water
2 tablespoons | brandy (more brandy!)

ii. what to do

0. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place a 8 ¼” round, shallow baking dish into the oven. See my Texas twist on the dish shape below!

1. In a large, heavy nonstick pan over medium heat, cook ¾ cup sugar until it melts and forms a light-brown syrup. Stir to blend and do not overcook!

2. Using pot holders remove the warmed baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramelized syrup into the dish. Quickly rotate the dish back and forth, to cover bottom and sides of the dish completely; this acts as a coat that will prevent the flan from sticking to the pan *and* it tastes delicious! Set the dish aside to cool. You may be surprised to hear that as the sugary syrup cools it will begin to crack inside the pan. This is totally normal and one of the hidden surprises of this recipe (the other surprise is when you set the flan on fire in step 7)!

Pouring the pumpkin flan into the prepared dish3. To make the pumpkin custard: In a medium saucepan combine the pumpkin, milk and cream, stirring until well blended. Heat over low heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

4. In a large bowl with a rotary beater, add eggs and beat them slightly. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually stir into the hot pumpkin-milk mixture and ⅓ cup brandy. Pour into the prepared baking dish.

5. In a large Pyrex measuring cup microwave some water until it begins to boil (I used 2 batches of 4 cups each). Set the flan-filled baking dish into a shallow aluminum pan into the oven that’s still set at 325°F. Pour the boiling water to a ½-inch level around the dish.

Pumpkin Flan Hot Out Of The Oven

6. Bake the flan 50 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the flan comes out clean. Remove the custard from the oven, let cool and refrigerate overnight. Let the pan filled with water cool then discard the water.

7. To serve, run a small spatula around the edge of the dish to loosen the flan. Invert the dish onto a shallow serving dish and shake gently to release. The caramel acts as a tasty sauce. Lower the lights in the room, gather your foodies, and at the table ignite 2 tablespoons of warm brandy and quickly pour it over the flan.

It was at this point back when I was in Italy that our Italian host “Fausto” grabbed a pitcher of water in case things got fiery. Oh, they did, but only in pure awesomeness. We were all impressed. Me? I was simultaneously surprised and proud. At this step you can whisper some magic chant or a funny limerick for full effect. Your foodies will admire you! Or at least fear you. :)

Serves: 8

foodie tips ~

  No 1 cup of light cream on hand? You can substitute ⅓ cup milk with ⅔ cup heavy cream. Worked like a charm!

  In step 4 above, make sure and slowly add the hot pumpkin-milk mixture into the egg mixture to prevent cooking of the eggs! This step works great with two people; a “stirrer” and a “pourer.”

  Stumped with your limerick? Try making your own with a little help from the limerick factory!

Texas Brandied Flan

Here’s a picture of my special Texas-shaped casserole dish of Step 2 (above).
I guess this makes this the Texas Two Step. (Ba Dum Tss!)

the original brandied pumpkin flan recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Recipe For Brandied Pumpkin Flan