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Hunting for the Original Bisquick Impossible Quiche Recipe

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About two years ago, I developed an inexplicable craving for this retro family favorite. Thus began my search for the original recipe.

The Impossible Quiche magically creates its own crust while baking in the oven.

The Impossible Quiche magically creates its own crust while baking in the oven.

What Is the Impossible Quiche?

Some of you may recall Bisquick's Impossible Quiche, made popular in the 1970s as a recipe printed on boxes of Bisquick mix. Quick and easy to make, this tasty pseudo-quiche dish was a huge hit in our family for years. We would make it for breakfast, lunch, or as a main course for dinner—and we also enjoyed the leftovers cold from the refrigerator.

This dish was called “impossible” because it made its own crust as it baked. There was no need to make a separate bottom crust before adding the main ingredients, which were bacon, onion, eggs, milk, cheese, and Bisquick mix. Baking in a hot oven, this concoction magically became a glorious, thick quiche-like pie with a golden surface. Once out of the oven and cooled a bit, it sliced cleanly and released from the pan flawlessly.

The Case of the Missing Recipe

About two years ago, I developed an inexplicable craving for Impossible Quiche. I don’t know what triggered the urge. For two decades I had never once thought of this dish—but all of a sudden I was on a mission to buy a box of Bisquick.

I was stunned to discover that not one box of Bisquick in the store featured this recipe from my early married years. I probably looked like an idiot in the baking goods aisle, reading glasses perched on my nose, pulling out different sized boxes of Bisquick, scouring the minuscule print on tops, bottoms, sides, fronts, and backs for any sign of the missing recipe.

At some point in time, this recipe had evidently been removed from the Bisquick box. I doubt anyone noticed its disappearance because by the 1980s the American diet was undergoing dramatic changes. In keeping with the low-fat diet recommendations that became so popular in the early '80s, I had tossed many recipes for the heavy, rich foods we had previously favored into the back of my wooden recipe card file and basically forgot about them. Then, with the advent of computers and word processing, I started saving new recipes on disk—and the old wooden box slipped somewhere out of sight and out of mind.

I remember coming home from the store that day to spend entirely too much time online, searching for the recipe I remembered. I found plenty of Bisquick "impossible pie" recipes, and even some sites claiming to have the "original Bisquick Impossible Quiche recipe." But none of these recipes rang the right bell in my memory.

Time passed. I put the craving and the hunt for the original recipe out of my mind.

The Impossible Quiche recipe had been hiding for 30+ years in an old box of recipe cards.

The Impossible Quiche recipe had been hiding for 30+ years in an old box of recipe cards.

An Old Recipe Box Reveals Its Secret

A few weeks ago, in a major cleaning and reorganizing spurt, I tackled my bookcases with a vengeance. I was tired of hunting for books in a system that had become disorganized through the years, and I was seriously questioning why I still hung on to books I hadn't given a thought to in a long, long time. On one shelf, behind a group of Nevada Barr paperbacks, I discovered the old wooden recipe file box.

I was surprised to see how well it was organized, especially in contrast to the disarray that had befallen the bookcases. Index divider cards separated categories of recipes in alphabetical order: appetizers first, desserts next, and so on. I looked through each category, curious about what I had so carefully saved and then abandoned. Behind the index card labeled "Main Dishes," I found a hand-written card labeled "Impossible Quiche."

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Read More From Delishably

The Original Impossible Quiche Recipe

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 12 bacon strips, cooked to a crisp, drained, and crumbled
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Bisquick

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate.
  3. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and diced onion (in that order) evenly over the bottom of the pie plate.
  4. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.
  5. Add the milk to the egg mixture. Stir.
  6. Add the Bisquick and beat until smooth.
  7. Pour the Bisquick mixture over the ingredients in the pie plate.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
  9. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note About Salt

Through the years, our family has tended to use less and less salt. If you’ve been cutting down on salt, too, then you will find the Impossible Quiche shockingly salty.

To reduce the salt content, eliminate the salt called for in the recipe and use six or eight strips of bacon instead of 12. You could also try using reduced-sodium bacon.

In this Impossible Quiche variation, I added about a cup of coarsely chopped frozen broccoli.

In this Impossible Quiche variation, I added about a cup of coarsely chopped frozen broccoli.

Variations

After the quiche is assembled in the pie plate, scatter about one cup of any of these coarsely chopped vegetables, alone or combined, onto the surface:

  • Frozen or fresh broccoli
  • Frozen spinach that has been thawed and thoroughly pressed to remove all water
  • Fresh green, red, or yellow sweet bell peppers

Serving Suggestions

Quiche is wonderfully versatile; it makes a great dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Here are some serving suggestions, depending on the meal.

  • Breakfast: Pair with sliced mango or fresh orange sections.
  • Lunch: Serve with a fresh green salad tossed with your favorite dressing.
  • Dinner: Serve with sides of steamed sugar snap peas and mashed rutabaga or steamed carrots. These vegetables add beautiful color to the plate and provide a good nutritional balance to the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the quiche.

Was It True to Memory?

Although I have no direct proof, such as the physical recipe cut from the Bisquick box, nor any memory of transcribing the recipe from the box onto the card, I believe that this is, in fact, the original recipe. It makes sense that I would have written the short recipe onto a conveniently sized card rather than risk losing a small square of cardboard at the bottom of the file box.

This past Easter, my daughter and I added the quiche to our dinner menu. She did not remember this recipe from those long-ago days, but from the moment I took the quiche from the oven, sliced it into wedges, and took the first bite, I knew without a doubt that this was the original recipe. That is, unless forensic culinary science provides evidence to the contrary.

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