I’ve made a lot of strange things with a microwave oven in my time. Honeycake, rice, taco chips (not recommended–it worked beautifully but I’m pretty sure that’s what shortened the life of my last microwave), pasta, dulce de leche, lasagne, baba ghanouj, beans, dolmas, flan, marmalade, rolls, even paneer from scratch. Sometimes I really need a quick method, sometimes I’m just fooling around to see what’s possible, but much of the time it actually works. Usually the first try is good enough that it’s worth either repeating as-is or fine-tuning to get it closer to what you want. This one I didn’t have to fiddle with at all–it just worked.
If you’ve got a reasonably modern microwave (1000 to 1200 W), a pyrex pie plate, a microwaveable dinner plate and the basic ingredients for quiche, you’re in business. All with real and very ordinary quiche ingredients, and no odd cooking methods other than the use of a microwave instead of a standard oven.
The olive-oil-based pie crust itself I made and parbaked in a regular oven for 10 minutes while I prepared the filling and custard. Once everything was ready, I filled and baked the quiche in the microwave in only 4 minutes, so if you use a prepared crust you can probably do this even faster.
Microwaved Spinach and Cheese Quiche
- parbaked pie crust (try the quick olive oil crust) in pyrex or microwaveable ceramic pie plate
- 1 lb loose-frozen spinach
- 1 clove garlic, grated, minced or mashed
- 1 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 2 oz low-fat mozzarella chopped
- 1 T each minced fresh herbs like thyme, dill, and basil, or 1/2 to 1 t each dried
- grating of nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 c skim milk
- 2 T (1 heaping soupspoonful) flour
1. Make, roll out and parbake the crust in a regular oven, 10 min at 400°F.
2. While the crust is baking, microwave the pile of spinach uncovered on a microwaveable ceramic dinner plate 4 min on HIGH. Take it out and microwave the milk in a pyrex or ceramic bowl for 3 min or until steaming hot.
3. While the milk is heating, squeeze out as much water from the spinach as you can. Mix in the garlic, nutmeg, herbs and cheeses.
4. Beat the eggs lightly with the flour in a cup. Pour a little of the hot milk in and stir quickly with a fork or a whisk to temper the eggs, then pour them back into the bowl of hot milk and stir well.
5. Remove the pie plate from the oven, distribute the spinach and cheese on top of the crust, pour the custard over it, and cover with the spinach plate. Microwave 4 min on HIGH, remove and check for doneness–the custard should be cooked through. If the exposed edges of the crust have gotten a little wet from condensation, pop the quiche back into the still-hot conventional oven, uncovered, for a minute or so to dry it out and keep it hot.
Update/revision notes 4/18/10–I tried this a second time with good results tonight (see photo above), but I used 2% milk and an extra egg white in the custard because the first time it didn’t seem to submerge all the spinach and cheese–and it took an extra minute and a half to cook all the way through, going in 30-second intervals. So if you increase the amount of custard or the fat percentage of the milk, keep in mind that you may need to eyeball and add a little onto the final cooking time as needed. Ain’t it always the way. It also helps to put a saucer or soup bowl upside down on the microwave turntable and set the pie plate on top of it–raising it up increases the exposure to the microwave energy.