Hunting for the Original Bisquick Impossible Quiche Recipe
Impossible Quiche - A Much Loved Retro Family Recipe
Some of you may recall Bisquick® impossible quiche, made popular in the 1970s as a recipe printed on boxes of Bisquick mix. Easy and quick to make, this tasty pseudo-quiche dish was a huge hit in our family for years. We would make it for breakfast, for 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 create 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.
Impossible Quiche Recipe Gone Missing
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 Biquick, scouring the minuscule print on tops, bottoms, sides, fronts, and backs for any sign of the impossible quiche recipe.
At some point, the impossible quiche recipe had disappeared from the Bisquick box. The disappearance wasn’t anything we noticed, because by the 1980s we had drastically changed the way we ate. 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 favored then into the back of my wooden recipe card file and basically forgot about them, as I had forgotten the impossible quiche. 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 searching the Internet for the recipe I remembered. I found plenty of Bisquick "impossible pie" recipes, and even some sites claiming to hold the "original Bisquick impossible quiche recipe". But none of these recipes rang the right bell in my memory. Time passed, once again, as I put the craving and the hunt for the original recipe out of my mind.
The Found Recipe
The Past Appears in the Present
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 which 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 a 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".
A Word 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 this 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 reduced sodium bacon.
The Impossible Quiche Recipe, Just as I Found It
- 12 Bacon strips, cooked to crisp, drained, and crumbled
- 1 Cup Swiss cheese, shredded (about 4 ounces)
- 1/3 Cup onion, diced
- 2 Cups milk
- 1 Cup Bisquick
- 4 Eggs
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 10-inch pie plate.
Sprinkle the crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and diced onion (in that order) evenly over the bottom of the pie plate.
Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.
Stir in the milk.
Add the Bisquick and beat until smooth.
Pour over the ingredients in the pie plate.
Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
A Slice of Impossible Quiche
After the quiche is assembled in the pie plate, scatter about a 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
For breakfast, pair with sliced mango or fresh orange sections.
For lunch, serve with a fresh green salad tossed with your favorite dressing.
For dinner, serve with sides of steamed sugarsnap 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.
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, it does appear that this would be 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 Easter my daughter and I added the quiche to our dinner menu. She did not remember this recipe from those long-ago times, but from the moment I took the quiche from the oven, sliced it into wedges, and took the first bite, I knew this was the original recipe, that is, until forensic culinary science provides evidence to the contrary.