A Culinary Delight from the Heart of France

Quiche Lorraine is not just a dish; it’s a journey through the rich flavors and textures of French cuisine.

Originating from the Lorraine region, this savory tart recipe combines a flaky pastry crust with a creamy egg custard, punctuated by the smoky hints of bacon… plus, variations on the theme, shortcuts, cost savings, and more.

Quiche Lorraine

Skill Level: Intermediate

While Quiche Lorraine is not overly complex, it requires some basic skills in pastry making and custard preparation. Patience is key to achieving that perfect, golden crust and a silky, savory filling.

Healthy Aspects

  • Eggs: High in protein and vitamins.
  • Milk and Cheese: Calcium-rich, good for bone health.
  • Optional additions: Include vegetables like spinach or tomatoes to increase fiber and vitamins.

Time and Servings

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

  • All-purpose Flour: 1 ¼ cups (160g)
  • Butter: ½ cup (113g), chilled and diced
  • Salt: ½ tsp (2g)
  • Ice Water: 4-5 tbsp (60-75ml)
  • Bacon: 6 oz (170g), chopped
  • Eggs: 3 large
  • Heavy Cream: 1 cup (240ml)
  • Milk: ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Nutmeg: a pinch
  • Ground Black Pepper: to taste
  • Grated Gruyère Cheese: 1 cup (100g)

Instructions

  1. Pastry: Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add ice water, mixing until dough forms. Wrap in plastic; chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat Oven: 375°F (190°C).
  3. Roll Out Dough: On a floured surface, roll dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Place in plate; trim and crimp edges.
  4. Cook Bacon: In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Custard Mix: Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  6. Assemble: Sprinkle bacon and cheese into the pastry shell. Pour custard mix over.
  7. Bake: 35-40 minutes until set and golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Also See:
Vegetarian Suggestions | Cost Saving tips | Recipe Shortcuts | Nutrition Info | More Egg Dishes

Best Tips

  • Chill the pastry dough adequately for easy handling.
  • Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes for extra crispiness.
  • Let the quiche rest before cutting for perfect slices.

Optional Ingredients

  • Onions or shallots, sautéed.
  • Herbs like thyme or chives for added flavor.

Vegetarian Suggestions

  • Replace bacon with sautéed mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add spinach or asparagus for a green twist.

Serving Suggestions

  • A light salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
  • Roasted vegetables for a heartier meal.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: ~350
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fat: 25g

Blind Baking

“Blind baking” is a technique used in baking pies and tarts, where the pastry crust is pre-baked before the filling is added. This is done to prevent the crust from becoming soggy from the filling, especially in recipes where the filling is very wet or is cooked at a lower temperature than the crust needs to become crisp. Here’s how it’s typically done:

  1. Prepare the Crust: Roll out your pie dough and fit it into your pie plate or tart pan. Trim and crimp the edges as needed.
  2. Chill the Crust: Place the crust in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough. This step helps prevent shrinkage during baking.
  3. Dock the Dough: Before baking, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. This process, known as “docking,” allows steam to escape and prevents the crust from puffing up in the oven.
  4. Line with Parchment and Weights: After chilling, line the crust with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill the liner with pie weights, dried beans, or uncooked rice. This weight keeps the crust’s shape and prevents the bottom from puffing up or the sides from shrinking.
  5. Bake: Bake the crust in a preheated oven for a set amount of time. The time and temperature will vary based on the recipe, but it’s typically around 375°F (190°C) for 10-20 minutes.
  6. Remove Weights and Finish Baking: After the initial baking, carefully remove the parchment and weights. If the recipe calls for it, return the crust to the oven to finish baking until it’s fully cooked and lightly golden.

Blind baking ensures a crispier, flakier crust, making it ideal for custard pies, quiches, and tarts.

Cost-Saving Tips:

  1. Buy in Bulk: Ingredients like flour, eggs, and butter are often cheaper when bought in larger quantities. You can store extra for future use.
  2. Cheese Choices: Instead of Gruyère, which can be pricey, opt for a more affordable but still flavorful cheese like cheddar or Swiss.
  3. DIY Heavy Cream: Instead of buying heavy cream, make a substitute by mixing ¾ cup of milk with ¼ cup of melted butter.
  4. Bacon Alternatives: Use less expensive bacon cuts or even leftover ham.
  5. Vegetable Add-Ins: Bulk up the quiche with affordable vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers.
  6. Grate Your Own Cheese: Pre-grated cheese can be more expensive. Buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself.

Recipe Shortcuts:

  1. Pre-Made Pie Crust: Save time by using a store-bought pie crust. It eliminates the need for making and chilling the dough.
  2. Skip Blind Baking: While it helps with texture, you can skip blind baking the crust if in a rush. Just be mindful that the bottom may be softer.
  3. Pre-Cooked Bacon: Use pre-cooked bacon or bacon bits to save on cooking time and cleanup.
  4. One-Bowl Custard: Mix the eggs, cream, cheese, and seasonings in one bowl, then pour over the bacon in the crust to simplify assembly.
  5. Frozen Vegetables: If adding veggies, use frozen ones. They are pre-cut and often cheaper than fresh produce, and don’t require additional prep time.

Remember, the beauty of quiche is its versatility and forgiving nature. Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your budget and time constraints!

The Perfect Pie Plate for Quiche Lorraine

For Quiche Lorraine, a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate is typically ideal. This size is standard for most quiche and pie recipes, offering a good balance between depth and surface area. It’s large enough to hold a generous amount of filling and crust, but not so large that the quiche becomes too thin.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • Depth: A standard 9-inch pie plate usually has a depth of about 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm). If you prefer a thicker quiche with more filling, you might opt for a deeper dish.
  • Material: Pie plates come in various materials like glass, ceramic, metal, and disposable aluminum. Glass and ceramic are great for even heat distribution, while metal is good for achieving a crispier crust.
  • Shape: A round plate is traditional, but quiche can also be made in square or rectangular tart pans, especially if you prefer to cut it into uniform pieces for serving.

Remember, if you use a different size or significantly deeper pie plate, you may need to adjust the amount of filling and baking time accordingly.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warm.

Origin and History

Quiche Lorraine hails from the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, now Lorraine, France. Originally, it was a simple open pie with a filling of custard and smoked bacon. Cheese was added later as the recipe evolved.

Conclusion

Quiche Lorraine is more than a dish; it’s a celebration of rustic, French cuisine. Whether for a brunch or a cozy dinner, it’s a delightful way to bring a piece of France to your table.

Bon appétit!

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