Quiche Lorraine is a very traditional savoury French tart. The tart has an open pastry case. Bacon, eggs and cream, plus seasoning are the filling.
Why ‘Or Not”
You may wonder why the title of this blog post contains ‘Or Not’. But the answer is simple. For my recipe I included some cheese. That certainly provides another level of flavour to the quiche. However some traditionalists might frown upon calling it Quiche Lorraine. Hence the title of this post.
Using cheese in Quiche Lorraine is very common these days. Of course cheese is used in many types of quiche.
So, if you prefer the traditional Quiche Lorraine consider this just as a Cheese and Bacon Quiche. You can also follow this recipe and omit the cheese entirely to make a more traditional version of Quiche Lorraine.
The recipe for Quiche Lorraine is quite simple. The are a few steps to follow. But each step is easy enough. First you make a lovely shortcrust pastry. Then you roll it out and line it in a tart tin. The pastry needs to be cooked(blind baked). Then some bacon needs to be fried. That can be fried to the level of crispness you like. I prefer it to be cooked but not too crisp. However many people like it very crisp.
Then you will need some grated cheese. I used Gruyere, which is very good indeed. But any hard cheese, such as Cheddar will work well too.
Cover the base of the tart case with bacon and cheese. Pour in a mixture of beaten egg, cream, milk and seasoning. The tart is then ready to bake.
So there is nothing very complicated at all.
I made my pastry and lined the tart tin. Instead of using my usual parchment paper and ceramic beans for blind baking I used a method I saw in a Julia Child recipe, and a few other recipes. That was to cover the pastry case with aluminium foil, on the base and pressed against the sides. With that done I baked the case of 30 minutes. Then I removed the foil and brushed a little egg white over the pastry and baked for another minute or two. Using parchment paper and beans for blind baking will work well too.
To cook the bacon I also followed a suggestion from Julia Child of adding some water into a pan to cook the bacon. Then I drained and dried the bacon and fried it in the smallest amount of oil, until it had browned a little.
Then it was time to assemble the tart, as described above. So, bacon and then cheese into the pastry.
I beat the eggs and added salt and pepper and then mixed in the milk and cream. That was poured into the tart case, but not until completely full.
The tart was then baked, for 30 minutes. The filling heated through and rose up nicely. It browned very well on the top too. Then, once it was out of the oven the top sank, as expected, to a nice level filling.
I left the tart to cool for about 45 minute before removing from the tart tin. Then I left it to cool completely before cutting a slice. It tasted amazing, with a wonderfully soft and light texture. The subtle cheese and egg flavour complemented the chew of the bacon, and the pastry was crisp and flaky.
Altogether it was a great success. I should mention that this can be served warm, at room temperature or cold. It is all a matter of preference.
Another great recipe using cheese is Cheese Flan – School Dinner Memories
Quiche Lorraine – Or NotCourse: Pies, TartsCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
225g(1 1/2 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
113g(1 stick) cold unsalted butter
80ml(1/3 cup) ice cold water (you may not need to use it all)
1.5g(1/4 tsp) salt
3 medium eggs(large in USA)
130g(4 1/2 oz) streaky bacon or lardons
240ml(1 cup) double cream
240ml(1 cup) milk
120g(1 cup) grated Gruyere, or other hard, cheese
3g(1/2 tsp) salt
1g(1/4 tsp) black pepper
1 egg white, for brushing pastry.
- Place the flour, salt and butter into the bowl of a processor and pulse until the texture is like breadcrumbs, with maybe a few small chunks of butter still visible (you can do this by hand, rubbing the butter into the flour).
- Pour in about 60ml(1/4 cup) of the water and pulse again until the mixture just begins to clump, adding more water it needed. The mixture should still be quite powdery, with a few clumps.
- Tip the mixture onto a work surface and use your hands to squeeze it together into a ball of dough.
- Lightly flour the work surface and flatten the dough into a disc, lightly covering it in flour too.
- Roll out the dough into a circle of just over 12 inches/30 cm in diameter.
- Roll the dough carefully onto the rolling pin and transfer it to a 9 inch/23cm tart tin.
- Ease the pastry into the tin pressing it against the sides and covering the base.
- There should be a little excess dough over the edge of the pan. Tuck it inwards between the pastry side and the pan side, and press until the edge is slightly higher than the side of the tin.
- Chill the pastry in the fridge as you preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F.
- Take a sheet of aluminium foil and press it, carefully, onto the base of the pastry, and against the sides.
- Fold the foil down to make a double layer around the sides.
- Place the tart tin on a baking tray and put it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- Place a little water into a frying pan and add the bacon.
- Cook the bacon for about 5 minutes, then drain the water off and pat the bacon dry.
- Add a very small amount of oil to the pan and fry the bacon to brown it, and to crisp it as much as you wish. Then set it aside.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and carefully peel off the foil.
- Brush beaten egg white over the surface of the pastry and bake for about 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the oven again.
- Place the bacon onto the base of the tart case.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the bacon.
- Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper, then add the cream and milk and whisk to combine.
- Carefully pour the mixture over the cheese, until it fills the tart case, until the sides have about 1/2 inch of pastry still exposed.
- Transfer the tart tin, on the baking tray, into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top has risen and browned.
- Remove from the oven. The top will sink down and, if gently pressed the top should be quite firm.
- Leave the tart to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from the tin.