Quiches, savory custards baked in buttery pastry, can be served either warm or at room temperature. Letting them cool properly helps ensure that your quiches slice easily and cleanly, making for a beautiful presentation. Proper cooling begins with knowing when to pull your quiche out of the oven.
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Taking the Quiche Out of the Oven
The baking times in your favorite quiche recipes are approximations. Any number of factors, ranging from the type of plate you cook in to the altitude at which you live, can affect the amount of time it takes for your quiche to cook. Quiche needs to reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any microorganisms that may cause foodborne illness. Because of a phenomenon known as carryover cooking, your quiche will still cook, and the internal temperature will continue to rise at least 5 degrees, even after you pull it out of the oven. For best results, pull your quiche out of the oven when it reaches a temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit, as measured with a food thermometer. This will ensure that your quiche is safe to eat while keeping it from becoming dry and grainy.
Cool on a Wire Rack
Once you've removed your quiche from the oven, don't just set it on a baking sheet on top of your stove. Instead, set it on a wire rack placed on a counter away from your stove. This will shorten the amount of time the quiche continues to cook and, thanks to the air circulating around all sides of the baking dish, will accelerate the cooling process.
Cool Before Serving
If you want to serve your quiche warm, allow it to cool at least 10 to 20 minutes before slicing it. The longer you let the quiche cool, the more your filling will set and the cleaner your slices will be. If you want to serve quiche at room temperature, let it cool for at least an hour. If your quiche is still too warm, you can pop it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Cool Before Refrigeration
Some folks believe that you should cool a quiche completely before refrigeration; however, this is an unsafe practice, according to the experts at Foodsafety.gov. Don't leave your quiche out on the counter for more than two hours, or you risk serving some microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses along with your quiche. After letting your quiche cool for about an hour, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it continue cooling in the refrigerator.