A couple of years ago,  my friend took me to a giant warehouse full of used books in Northeast Minneapolis.  The owners had previously owned some type of online used book business and were trying to liquidate their stockpile.  I bought a few obscure cookbooks including The Gardner Museum Cafe Cookbook by Lois McKitchen Conroy, published by The Harvard Common Press in 1985.  I love random cookbooks.  The more obscure or random, the better.

This small green cookbook contains recipes served at the cafe located in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum located in Boston, MA.

Having frozen pie crusts left-over from making sour cherry hand pies, I decided to make a quiche.  I am happy with the flavor and quality of the whole wheat crusts prepared by Wholly Wholesome brand which I bought from The Wedge Co-op.  For these pie crusts, I found that the recipe made an excess of egg filling.  I filled the previously frozen pie crust to the very top and baked.  There was no overflow but I needed to bake for about 10-15 extra minutes.

3 Tablespoons of butter
4 tiny apples, or 2 larger apples or a sour/firm variety-peel and slice.
1/4 cup of brandy
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups of half and half (I only had heavy cream so I used half cream, half water).
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (recipe called for 1 teaspoon, but this seemed to be excessive.  1/4 teaspoon was sufficient).
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1 frozen pie crust (or fresh).  I baked from frozen and it worked well.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Saute the peeled and sliced apples in a pan with butter until soft.  Add the brandy and saute the apples for about five more minutes until the raw alcohol flavor disappears.  The apples should be tender, but not too mushy.  Remove from heat, into a bowl and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Then, stir in the apples and cheddar.  I found I was left with a lot of excess liquid from the apples so I scooped the sauteed apples into the egg mixture and left most of the juice behind.

Ladle the mixture as evenly as possible into the pie shell.  Bake for 10 minutes at preheated 400 degrees.  Then, turn down the heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 30-45 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is cooked.  Test by poking the center with a knife to see if the blade can be cleanly removed.  


  • Minimal ingredients and very simple to prepare.
  • Crispy crust and creamy texture.  
  • Overall, a delicious quiche that Jake and I have been enjoying this week.  The tart apples, brandy, cheddar, and nutmeg create an interesting sweet and savory flavor.