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.
- 1 recipe pie dough (see Pâte Brisée recipe) or a prepared frozen pie crust
- 1/2 pound (225 g) of 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 salt
- 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.
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 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.
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-degree oven.
This recipe is dedicated to Berkeley Breathed whose Bloom County comic strip kept millions entertained daily for years, and who named a character in that strip (the sometimes girlfriend of Steve Dallas) "Quiche Lorraine".
Steve Dallas putting the moves on Quiche Lorraine:
(slap!) "I'm not that kind of girl!"
"You most certainly are!"
"Oh, pits, is it that obvious?"