Whether you serve quiche as a main course or as an appetizer, cooling it to the right temperature makes it taste just right and keeps your mouth from burning. The cooling time will vary depending on the size of the quiche and on the number of ingredients in the filling. Fill your quiche with the traditional bacon and Gruyere cheese of a quiche Lorraine, named for the area of France where the dish originated, or get creative with other ingredients.
Advantages of Cooling
Serving foods icy cold or piping hot affects their flavor. In the first case, your perception of the food's taste is limited because there will be no aroma and the proteins in your taste buds won't function as well as they normally do. With a piping hot quiche, your taste buds will be burned before they can taste anything. Cooling a quiche to room temperature, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, will make it taste better.
Small quiches and those with only one or two ingredients added to the egg custard will take 20 to 30 minutes to cool to room temperature, while large quiches with lots of fillings may take as long as one hour. Let very small appetizer quiche bites cool for only 5 to 10 minutes. Place the quiche on a wire rack while cooling to allow air to circulate under the pan.
Cooling in the Fridge
While you would never want to put a large pot of hot liquid in your refrigerator to cool off because it wouldn't cool quickly enough to keep bacteria from growing, you can speed the cooling process for quiche by placing it in the refrigerator without damaging the fridge at all. The cooler air in the refrigerator makes the quiche give up its heat more rapidly -- an illustration of Newton's Law of Cooling.
Even when cooling a very large, deep-dish quiche with lots of ingredients, you should serve it within 1-1/12-hours. Food left at room temperature after preparation for more than two hours increases your chances of getting sick from dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. To speed the cooling of a large quiche, precut the quiche into serving size portions in the pan so the heat will dissipate more quickly than it it were left intact.