The mother of all quiche recipes is the Quiche Lorraine, a light custard with lots of bacon in a buttery crust.
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 classic Quiche Lorraine has endured, I'm guessing mostly because of the bacon!
In this version of Quiche Lorraine 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.
How to Make Quiche
Quiche may sound fancy, but don't be intimidated. This savory pie is simple to throw together, and you can use a prepared frozen pie crust to take some of the pressure off.
The filling for a traditional quiche is milk or cream (or both), cheese, and eggs. Quiche can be filled with vegetables, chopped cooked meat, and various fresh herbs. You pre-bake the crust, arrange the cheese plus any meat, vegetables, and herbs on top of the crust, and then fill with the beaten milk, cream, and eggs. It's that simple.
Can You Substitute the Milk and Cream?
You can substitute 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half for the 1 cup of milk and the 1/2 cup of heavy cream without changing the consistency of the custard much. Other dairy substitutions with less fat will add less richness to the custard.
Other substitutions to try (keeping in mind you'll change the consistency and possibly the taste):
- Whole milk, 2% milk, or fat-free milk, or any combination of the three
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Hemp milk
- Equal parts fat-free sour cream and fat-free half and half
Can You Make This a Crustless Quiche?
Yes, you can make this a crustless quiche as long as you keep it in its baking pan, because it won't have enough structure to stand on its own. Also, add one more egg and 1/4 cup of flour to the egg, cream, and milk mixture if you choose to make a crustless Quiche Lorraine.
How to Store Quiche Lorraine
After allowing the quiche to cool, store it in the refrigerator, covered, up to four days.
Can You Freeze (and Reheat) Quiche Lorraine?
Yes, you can freeze Quiche Lorraine, and it reheats well.
To freeze an entire, fully cooked quiche, allow it to cool first. Then place it - pan and all - uncovered, in the freezer until it is frozen through. Remove from the freezer, pop the quiche out of the pan, and wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Then wrap it in a layer of foil or place it in a large freezer-safe zip top bag with all air removed. The quiche will keep in the freezer up to three months.
To freeze slices of cooked quiche, freeze the slices - uncovered - on a baking sheet in the freezer first. When they are frozen, wrap each individual slice in a double layer of plastic wrap. Then wrap individual slices in a layer of foil or place them in a freezer-safe zip top bag. Slices will keep in the freezer up to three months.
Reheat frozen quiche straight from the freezer (unwrapped, of course) or after being thawed in the refrigerator. Whether you're reheating it from its frozen state or thawing it first, place it back in its original pan after removing it from the freezer and unwrapping it. Reheat in a 350°F oven until warmed through. Cover the quiche with foil so it doesn't brown anymore. Individual slices can also easily be defrosted and reheated in the microwave.
What Can You Serve With Quiche?
- A green salad
- Any type of breakfast potato such as hash browns
- Tomato soup
- Fresh fruit
- Broiled tomatoes
Try These Great Quiche Recipes
- 1 recipe pie dough (see Pâte Brisée recipe) or a prepared frozen pie crust
- 1/2 pound (225 g) bacon (you can use more or less to your taste)
- 1 cup (235 ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste (we used about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup (4 ounces, 113 g) grated gruyere or other cheese (cheddar works, too)
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives
Prepare the dough:
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. (If you don't have a tart pan, you can use a similarly sized pie pan.)
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 30 minutes before blind-baking.
Pre-bake the frozen crust:
Pre-baking is also called "blind" baking. If you're using a store-bought frozen crust, follow the directions on the package for pre-baking.
If you are pre-baking a homemade crust, preheat oven to 350°F. Line the frozen crust with heavy duty aluminum foil. Allow for a couple inches to extend beyond the sides of the tart or pie pan.
Fill tart pan with pie weights such as dry beans, sugar, or rice.
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 40 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, and set aside. (See further tips on how to blind bake a crust.)
Cook the bacon:
Set a large frying pan over 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.
Preheat the oven:
Now that the bacon is cooked preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make the filling:
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.
Put filling in pre-baked crust:
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.
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°F oven.