It occurred to me a while ago that the site was missing a Quiche Lorraine recipe. Hah! An opportunity to cook bacon! (Like we don’t get enough of those around here?) Culinary trends took an odd turn in the 70s when quiche gained the reputation of being a Ladies-who-lunch type of dish. Must have been because they took the bacon out and started putting everything else in (asparagus, goat cheese, mushrooms, heck, they even took out the crust.) But the mother of quiche recipes is the Quiche Lorraine, a light custard with lots of bacon in a buttery crust. In this version we’ve included some chopped chives because as of this writing it is springtime, and the chives are flourishing in the garden.
If you’ve never made a quiche before, don’t worry, it couldn’t be easier. Especially if you’re working with a prepared frozen crust. If not, it’s still easy, it just takes more time and planning.
Onions or shallots can be used in place of the chives. Use about 1/2 cup, finely chopped, and sauté in butter first, before spreading over the bottom of the quiche crust with the bacon.
- 1 recipe pie dough (see Pâte Brisée recipe) or a prepared frozen pie crust
- 1/2 pound of bacon (you can use more or less to your taste)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste (we used about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup grated gruyere or other cheese (cheddar works too)
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives
1a If you are making your own pie crust, roll out the pie dough into a 12-inch round. Place it in a 10-inch wide, 1 1/2-inch high tart pan, pressing the dough into the corners. Use a rolling pin to roll over the surface of the tart pan to cleanly cut off the excess dough from the edges. Freeze for at least half an hour before blind-baking.
1b Pre-bake the frozen crust (also called "blind" baking). Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the frozen crust with heavy duty aluminum foil or with parchment paper. Allow for a couple inches to extend beyond the sides of the tart or pie pan. Fill two-thirds with dry beans or other pie weights (I've heard copper pennies work well for this too). If you are using a pan with a removable bottom, place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to catch any spillage. Bake for 20 minutes. Then remove from oven, remove the pie weights (the easiest way to do this is to lift up the foil by the edges) and the foil. Using the tines of a fork, poke little holes all around the base of the crust. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and set aside.
2 Cook the bacon. Heat a large frying pan on medium heat. Arrange strips of bacon in a single layer on the bottom of the pan (you may need to work in batches or do two pans at once). Slowly cook the bacon, turning the strips over occasionally until they are nicely browned and much of the fat has rendered out. Lay the cooked strips of bacon on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. Pour fat out of the pan into a jar (not down the drain, unless you want to clog the pipes) for future use, or wait until it solidifies and discard in the trash. Chop the cooked bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.
3 Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt, black pepper and chives and whisk a little more. Add the milk and cream and whisk vigorously to incorporate and introduce a little air into the mix – this keeps the texture of the quiche light and fluffy.
Arrange the bacon and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust.
Whisk the egg-milk mixture hard again for a few seconds, then pour it gently into the pie crust. You want the bacon and cheese to be suspended in the mix, so you might need to gently stir it around just a little. You also want the chives, which will float, to be evenly arranged on top, so move them around with a spoon until you like where they are.
4 Put the quiche into the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. (If using pan with removable bottom, be sure to place a rimmed baking sheet underneath.) Check for doneness after 30 minutes by gently jiggling the quiche. It should still have just a little wiggle. (It will finish setting while it cools.) Cool on a wire rack.
Eat at room temperature, cold (a quiche will keep for several days in the fridge), or reheated gently in a 200-degree oven.