The Quiche Museau… that was the highlight of our establishment, the thing that those from many cities over would ride for weeks just to get a taste of. It was the pride and joy of my family, but also their darkest secret. You see, my family’s restaurant was not always successful. There were many years in my childhood where my mother and stepfather struggled to put food in the mouths of myself and my younger brother. He was only an infant, and would cry long hours in the night from his empty stomach. One night, a group of adventurers came into town, blood-soaked and terribly worse for wear. We only had enough supplies in the restaurant to last one more night, but my mother being who she was, she invited them all inside, prepared them the food for no cost, and bandaged them up. They had two corpses with them – one, a companion, who they cried over for most the night. The other… a Berbalang. Have you ever seen a Berbalang? Gruesome creatures, but rather common within Richemulot, bat-like and leathery, but with very human faces. They won’t hesitate to skin and eat a child, let me tell you. The only payment these adventurers had was the fresh corpse of this heinous creature, a few trinkets for us children, and a portion of cheese from their visit to Pont-a-Museau. My step-father made up his mind that he knew what he had to do. When the restaurant opened the next night, a crust was made in all of our pie tins, the eggs, cream, and cheese were combined, and he set about butchering that foul beast. My mother couldn’t stand it, it’s face and limbs were too humanoid for her to handle, and she hid in the cellar for the rest of the evening. It was up to me, the eldest, to help him prepare the rest of service. The travelers that visited for a meal ranted and raved about the savory taste of the meat inside of the quiches, and the smell that made it’s way out into the streets lured in even more. They asked what it was, and he proudly exclaimed that it was our secret family spices on a basic pork tenderloin. We had enough income from that one Berbalang corpse to stabilize us, and keep us from freezing or staving to death. The problem was… where would we get more? My family were simple cooks and hosts, not adventuring types… and butchering Berbalang would certainly send shivers up the spines of anyone. Eating the intelligent, even if they didn’t speak our language, or slaughtered our people, was heavily frowned upon. My family would be shamed for killing something like that, and probably put to death for serving it to everyone else. My step-father began working in dark shadows and in alleyways with adventurers that came into town, promising them a free place to stay in exchange for a minimum of three Berbalangs. They had to be dead, with their head and limbs removed before they delivered it – otherwise my mother would not have been able to handle what she was seeing every night. With all of those parts removed, the mass of meat remaining looked like any other pork or beef hunk, and it was never questioned. Within the year, my family’s restaurant was considered the greatest in all of Richemulot, and it remained that way for a very long time. Only two people knew the secret of the recipe – myself and my stepfather – and he took his to the grave long ago.
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 cup Butter
- 2 Eggs
- 1 lb Berbalang meat (chopped fine, taken from stomach or breast)
- 2 cups Pont-a-Museau Aged Wheel Cheese (similar to Gruyere)
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- ½ cup Buttermilk
- 2 tbsp Nutmeg
Combine cream and buttermilk in a glass container, cover with a thin fabric or cheesecloth, and allow to sit at room temperature for an entire day. Best if chilled for an additional day’s time before use.
Pour one egg yolk, flour, and butter into a bowl, along with some cool water, and mix well with a fork until it’s combined. Scatter across a countertop, then ball together in your hands to truly combine, and then use a rolling pin to roll it out evenly. Line a pie pan with this crust – trim edges. Prick the base with a fork, chill if possible, and then bake for only fifteen minutes.
While crust cooks, heat a frying pan and cook the Berbalang meat until barely crisp on the edges. Remove and drain. Dice ¾ of the cheese, and finely grate the rest. Scattered diced cheese and fried Berbalang over the finished crust.
Using spoon, beat the cream mixture and mix in the rest of the eggs. Season with nutmeg. Pour this over top of the meat and cheese. Scattered with grated cheese. Bake for another 25 minutes.