Here is how to cook a perfect quiche Lorraine, a great classic of French home cooking, maybe the most famous French dish in the world. Very easy and quick to prepare and so tasty with a creamy filling and a crispy crust. The French prepare quiches all the time.
Kid friendly, quiche Lorraine is always a success. It can be served for example for a quick lunch with green salad, brought to picnics (I actually have one in the car each time I travel for a long journey, in case there’s traffic jam or any problem). The filling is a rich baked custard, eggy with bacon and a mixture of milk and cream vigorously whisked until light and foamy. These are the 3 main ingredients: bacon, egg and cream and/or milk.
We now cook many different kind of tasty savory tarts or quiches, with all kind of different ingredients added in (leeks, zucchini, caramelized onions, spinach – this is actually how I made my daughters eat spinach-, salmon…). But do you know that the real quiche Lorraine, the classic old-fashioned recipe, does not have any cheese? It’s ok if you add cheese, then it becomes a quiche, not a quiche Lorraine. So will it be with cheese or without cheese for you ? What’s your favorite filling for savory quiches?
Before skipping to the ultimate quiche Lorraine recipe, here are a few words on the origin and the history of the Quiche Lorraine:
This dish comes from East France, just next to Germany (Lorraine being the name of this part of France). History goes back to the 16th century. It was prepared the days of bread baking in villages with remaining bread dough flattened and cooked with the common ingredients available at farms, thus bacon, cream and eggs (almost like a deep-pan pizza). Bacon was always smoked as in the old times it was a way to store meat longer.
In 1870, during the war between France and Prussia, many inhabitants left their native region invaded by Prussians and moved to Paris and other large French cities, bringing with them their culture and culinary traditions. Quiche Lorraine then started to be prepared all over France, to become now a classic French home cooking preparation.
A few information, tips and tricks:
- Use a ready-made pastry or make your own pie crust. Both shortcut and puff are suitable. I tend to prefer shortcrust.
- Ideally pre-bake (blind bake as we say in French) pie crust for 10 minutes at 350°F/180°C before filling. It’s possible to skip this step, the only risk is that pie crust might not be very crispy. Then add the cooking times, ie 10 min pre-baking + 30 min baking with filling= 40 min all in all.
- I tend to prefer an aluminum mold rather than porcelain or glass, better for a perfectly baked and crispy pie crust.
- Smoked bacon tastes much better. No need to fry it before.
- A mix of cream and milk is the best (2/3 cream and 1/3 milk, or half – half), rather than a light fat-free cream.
- 5 eggs might seems a lot to you, most recipes have only 3 eggs (the old recipe have 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks). You might make 6 shares with this quiche, which makes less than 1 egg per person.
- As you use smoked bacon, no need to add salt and pepper.
- Nutmeg is optional in the traditional recipe. So as you wish here.
- No cheese in the traditional recipe. You may want to add grated cheese (The French use Gruyere or Emmental). This is fine and indeed very tasty. Then please call it a quiche, not a quiche Lorraine.
- The preparation is baked in a not too hot oven (350°F/180 °C), this is important for the egg batter to be perfectly cooked.
The Ultimate Quiche Lorraine
- 200 gr flour
- 100 gr butter use cold butter
- 2 gr salt
- 25 cl cream
- 20 cl milk preferably whole milk
- 5 eggs
- 250 gr bacon preferably smoked, cubed
- 1 pinch nutmeg optional
- If you do not use a ready-made pastry, start by preparing it. Follow the steps in the recipe explained step by step in photo using this link (using the quantities given here, thus flour and butter quantities are different, no sugar of course. As for water, add water a little at a time until you have the perfect texture for your dough). Sift flour and salt together. Rub in butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add water until you get a nice dough.
- Let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 min.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Roll out the dough and drape it over your mold coverd with parchment paper (or greased if you prefer). Gently push the dough down into the mold and help it fit to the shape of the mold (on the bottom and all around the side of the mold). Lightly prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Pour over another parchment paper (or foiand fill in with dry beans, rice, cores or any “cooking pie weights” that will make the parchment paper stick to the pie crust.
- Blind bake (pre-bakin the oven for 10 min.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling. In a large bowl, vigorously beat with a fork the 5 eggs, just as you would do for an omelet. Add cream and milk and beat again. At this stage you may want to add nutmeg.
- Remove the pie weights and let the pie crust cool a bit. Put all over the dough bacon cubes, then pour over the egg-cream-milk batter.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F/180 °C (or 40 minutes if you have skipped the pre-bake step).
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Bon appétit !