A buttery crust, cheese-filled custard, and smokey bacon bits characterize this classic French quiche. The Quiche Lorraine is classic French at its best, with a buttery crust, cheese-filled custard, and smokey bacon chunks. This recipe is a favorite among home cooks since it is a complete meal that can be eaten with any meal, including lunch, supper, and breakfast. If you prepare your pie crust, you'll get bonus points.
The origins of the Lorraine Quiche
The Quiche Lorraine, which originated in the historical Alsace-Lorraine region of North Eastern France, is one of the most popular French recipes. It used to be peasant food, like so many other popular European cuisines. Bakers in the area are claimed to have used a disk of bread dough to measure the temperature of their ovens. The baked crust would then be topped with a "migaine" sauce made of egg, milk, and cream, as well as butter dots.
To give the Quiche Lorraine its trademark salty bite, local home cooks and chefs began to replace butter with chunks of smoked bacon only in the early nineteenth century. After the Franco-German war in 1871, France lost the Alsace-Lorraine area to Germany. A part of the Alsatian population was obliged to migrate to Paris and other French cities as a result of the transition. Alsatians contributed to the growth of the country by bringing their culture and regional delicacies, such as the Quiche Lorraine.
The essentials to a Quiche Lorraine
Don't be intimidated if this is your first time preparing quiche. A quiche is delicious custard made with egg, cream, and additional ingredients like bacon and cheese, as in a quiche Lorraine. There are no difficult processes or skill sets required; success is mostly determined by the selection of high-quality components and their thorough preparation before beginning the quiche construction.
Shortcrust dough, eggs, bacon, crème fraiche, black pepper, and nutmeg are the only ingredients permitted in a real Quiche Lorraine. In current Lorraine quiches, milk is occasionally used as a lighter substitute for crème fraiche, and cheese is regularly utilized. In my recipe, I use a combination of milk and crème fraiche to make the filling light yet rich and creamy—you can't go wrong with good old crème fraiche, in my opinion. The finishing touch is good Swiss cheese. As a result, let's look at the ingredients you'll need to make a Quiche Lorraine Classic at home.
-Make your crust, if you have time
While store-bought pie crusts are convenient, creating your own saves time and effort. In about 15 minutes, you can prepare the following recipe. It also ensures a flaky buttery crust, which serves as the ideal vessel for the rich custard.
This pie crust recipe makes enough for a 9-inch (22.9-cm) pie plus a little extra if you want to make individual quiches or freeze it for another project (well-wrapped in plastic film). You will not be sorry that you spent a bit more time and effort on it.
-Lardons or bacon sticks
Lorraine Quiches are usually made with "lardons" in France. Lardons are matchstick-sized slices of thinly smoked bacon. In France, they may be found in any grocery shop, but in North America, they are more difficult to come by. Cut bacon strips into 14" (0.65cm) thick sticks and cook over medium heat until the fat has mostly evaporated. But don't overdo it. The "lardons" should be cooked but still have a delicate bite to them, rather than being as crisp as store-bought bacon slices.
-Crème Fraiche, not sour cream
It's important to distinguish between sour cream and crème fraiche. Crème fraiche is a soured cream made from bacteria that naturally occur in the environment. Crème fraiche contains more fat (30–45%), has a richer flavor, and is less acidic than sour cream. If you're going to use them raw to top a baked potato, for example, they're interchangeable. Because it has less fat and more protein than crème fraiche, sour cream is less stable when cooked and can curdle. Because the Quiche Lorraine is created using crème fraiche, the filling stays creamy and doesn't split after baking.
Crème fraiche, which was previously difficult to come by, is now widely available in grocery shops across Canada and the United States. It's commonly available in the sour cream department of the grocery store. Liberte and Maison Riviera are two of my favorite companies that I suggest.
Use Gruyère or Emmental, a hard Swiss cheese bearing the AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protégée) mark. The presence of this mark on the label indicates that the cheese passed government-mandated quality standards. Both kinds of cheese have a nutty flavor and a slight salinity to them. They're pricier than cheddar, but for the finishing touch on a Quiche Lorraine, they're well worth it.
Bacon and Cheese Quiche
How to store a Quiche Lorraine
After you've finished cooking (and enjoying) this quiche, save any leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days in an airtight jar. Because the crust will soften, I don't recommend reheating it in the microwave. Instead, reheat the quiche in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180C).
- Place it in an airtight (freezer-friendly) container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the quiche to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating it in the oven.
- This recipe makes just enough filling for a low-sided 9-inch (22.9-cm) tart pan. Because the filling will bubble up as it bakes and deflates slightly when it cools, don't fill the crust to the rim. It's best to use a removable bottom tart pan to elevate your tart, as this will assist support the crust.
- When making the pie crust, make sure you use cold butter and ice-cold water. The butter will distribute throughout the flour without softening if it is cold (not room temperature). If you use ice-cold water to combine the ingredients, the butter will not melt. Small butter particles are preserved in the dough after it is rolled out, giving it a flaky crust.
For the pie crust:
2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup (150g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
4 tbsp (60ml) ice-cold water
For the filling:
4 large eggs
½ cup (120g) crème fraiche
½ cup (120ml) whole milk
6 ounces bacon (6 strips/ 175g) cut into ¼" thick sticks
1 cup (4oz/100g) shredded Swiss cheese (ie. Gruyère or Emmental)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of grated nutmeg
Step 1: make the crust. With your fingers or a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter until a crumbly texture is achieved and pea-size chunks of butter remain visible. Do not overmix; add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together into a ball. If the dough is crumbly or dry, add a few extra splashes of water. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes after wrapping it in plastic wrap.
A 9-inch (22.9-centimeter) tart pan should be greased and floured. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch (31-centimeter) circle on a floured work surface. Place the pie crust in the tart pan. Pinch the edges and scrape away any excess crust (optional). To keep the crust from ballooning up while baking, poke it all over with a fork. Chill the tart pan while you're preparing the bacon (next step).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) and position a rack in the middle.
Step 2: Prepare the filling: heat the bacon strips in a frying pan for 3 minutes or until crisp (but not too brown). Using a paper towel, absorb any extra liquid. Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and evenly distribute a third of the bacon and shredded cheese across the pastry crust.
Whisk together the eggs, crème fraiche, whole milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and nutmeg in a separate mixing dish. Add another third of the bacon to the mixture, as well as another third of the shredded cheese. Over the crust, pour the prepared liquid. Combine the remaining bacon and cheese in a large mixing bowl until well mixed (the last thirds). Finish with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove it from the oven when the crust begins to turn golden; the middle will be a little unstable and swollen when you remove it, but it will firm up and deflate as it cools. Allow at least 15 minutes for cooling on a cooling rack before serving. If it's warm or at room temperature, that's acceptable.
What Food Pairs Well With Quiche?
There are a few terrific side dish options if you're serving quiche as the main course of your supper. While the sort of quiche you create will determine what you serve as a side dish, here are some of the greatest options.
1 – A Salad of Your Choice
You probably ignore the salad that comes with your eggs in a restaurant. Salads, on the other hand, complement these egg dishes nicely. Salads of any kind are a terrific alternative if you're eating outside in the summer or just want something light. You can alter the components to include flavors or textures not found in the main course.
Salads go well with quiche since they are light and filling. Depending on what you're missing, you can add nutrition, sweetness, savory, or even salty elements to your cuisine. They're also a perfect substitute for those who don't like eggs or the other ingredients in quiche.
2 – A Hearty Tomato Soup
A bowl of rich tomato soup is a terrific way to add something easy, savory, and warm to your quiche meal. This soup is simple to make and has a flavor that complements practically any quiche, especially those with cheese. Consider it a more refined version of tomato soup with grilled cheese.
If you have a quiche with a few extra components, a chunkier tomato soup is a good choice. If your quiche has a lot of filling, go for a smoother alternative. You'll have to experiment with a few different options to find the one that works best for you.
3 – Focaccia or another Crusty Bread
A decent loaf of bread is always a safe bet. Because most people eat bread or toast with their eggs, focaccia or crusty bread makes a nice quiche side dish. If you're hosting a large gathering, stock up on a variety of bread in various flavors. Although focaccia is delicious, why not try some spicy jalapeo bread? Sweeten with cinnamon sugar or fresh jams to broaden your flavor.
4 – Freshly Made Iced Tea
Consider brewing your iced tea if you're serving your quiche for brunch, noon, or dinner. It may appear simple, but it will bring out the flavors to their full potential. Almost everyone likes iced tea, and you could set up a small station where guests may add their fruits, sugar, or ice to make their drink. Starting with a classic base that others can dress up on their own is typically a smart approach.
Make some iced tea, but not just any iced tea. You want to brew your tea from bags or buy freshly brewed tea from a store. Because the flavors in the quiche are strong, mass-produced ice tea will not pick them up. Just make sure you have enough ice on hand because this will go fast.
5 – Potatoes of Any Kind
Is there anything better than a platter of mashed potatoes? They can be used for nearly anything, which makes them an excellent quiche side dish. At home, you can make spiced fresh fries, mashed potatoes, home fries, potato latkes, and even tater tots. Consider if you want your potatoes to be soft, crispy, or somewhere in the middle to contrast the texture of the quiche. If you do cook fries, keep in mind that you'll need something to dip them in, so this is where you may get creative with flavor combinations.
6 – Fresh Fruit or Fruit Salad
Another dish that won't let you down? Fresh fruit that is still accessible at this time of year. It's filling, colorful, and easy to come by, and you can make it ahead of time so you can focus on the quiche. Choose something to cut the oil if you're making a meaty quiche, or something to complement the cheese if you're making a cheese quiche. If you're creating a meaty quiche, you'll want citrus fruits like kiwi, oranges, and pineapple, but berries and grapes if you're making a cheese quiche. If at all possible, allow guests to bring their fruits to reduce allergic responses.