A quiche is not a pie.

Say it with me. A quiche is not a pie. A quiche is not a pie. A quiche is not a pie. A real quiche is round, flat and with squared corners. None of this American slope-sided pie-plate stuff. That’s not Euro-food elitism talking, it’s simple science. A flat, cylindrical shape heats far more evenly, and creates a much more uniform end product.

You know how most pumpkin pies have bulged edges that are filled with cracks? That’s not from bad pie-baking technique but from the shape of American-style pie plates, which expose the custard (yes, pumkin pies are custards) in the narrower rim to prolonged, curdling heat. Continental pies aren’t shaped like ours. A typical British savory pie looks not unlike the quiche I made above. That’s because most British and European pies are made the old-fashioned way, in straight-sided pans or metal rings (Continental bakers of old used wooden hoops). These, as proven over centuries of pie-making, provided for an even bake.

Contrast that with American-style pie plates which have evolved from, well…plates. They are relics passed down to us from frontiersmen, who traveled light and had no room for specialized baking gear. For them, the plate you ate from did double duty as the plate you baked in. Who cares if the edges get a little over-done? This is injun country! Yet nowadays we have a choice, and when it comes to custard, flat and even is the way to go.

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