A quiche is a great dish that everyone should be able to prepare. It is so easy and offers such variety that it will quickly broaden your cooking repertoire.

Quiche is basically an egg custard, that is, a combination of egg and some liquid, and whatever flavorings you care to add. In general, for each large egg you use, add enough liquid to the egg to equal 1/2 cup. So for a 9-inch crust, you might use three large eggs and add enough liquid to reach 1-1/2 cups. (That may seem like a modest amount of filling, but you don't want to overfill the quiche, as you're aiming for balance between the taste of the crust and the custard.) After that, the sky's the limit - add cheese, bacon, shrimp, lobster, crab, anchovies, spinach, sausage, tomato, precooked asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, onions, leeks, or other vegetables.

For the liquid, the choice is yours. A traditional quiche is made with heavy cream and is certainly rich. But you can substitute half and half, whole milk, or even skim milk. For seasoning, add a little salt and pepper, and nutmeg or tarragon in delicate quiches, or oregano, cayenne, or sage with more robust ingredients, such as sausage.

to the crust, homemade is lovely, and not particularly challenging. But with frozen pie crusts at hand in your freezer, the production of a quiche is child's play. Preheat the oven and prebake the shell (according to the instructions) while you're putting the custard together. Remove the shell from the oven, add the filling, and bake. If you're up to making a crust from scratch, try one of the crust links below.

Bake the quiche in a 375°F oven (190°C) for 30 to 35 minutes. The filling should puff up a bit and be lightly browned.