Monday, March 21, 2011

quiche Lorraine

For all my infatuation with Julia Child's classic cookbook, as well as the Grand Diplome series, I have never never made quiche Lorraine. It's scandalous, I know. It's not clear to me why I've never been tried to make it. As I'm sitting here composing, it occurs to me that my experiences in eating quiche Lorraine was less than stellar. It takes just one bad experience eating something to turn you off forever! When I was child, I attended a church that often made lunches for the congregation. Quiche Lorraine was on the menu one Sunday. The memories are vivid and not good. The crust was soggy and the quiche was woefully under-seasoned. What could be less inspiring than that?

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old son, Brooks (who is also a foodie), asked me to make quiche Lorraine. Needless to say, I was a little taken aback and asked him where he learned about this French classic. Apparently, it was mentioned in a TV program he had watched. I screen his TV viewing very carefully; I guess I did a good job! I explained to him what quiche Lorraine contained and he was insistent that he wanted to try it.

So I set about finding a good recipe for it. Most of the recipes use cheese - either Gruyere or Swiss. However -- at least according to Julia Child -- the classic quiche Lorraine does not use cheese. I could not bring myself to make quiche that did not contain cheese. So I made a modified quiche and used Gruyere cheese.

The other issue to pay attention to is the crust. You should partially bake the crust before pouring in the mixture. I found a short and simple pie crust recipe that does not require chilling prior to rolling it out.

I served the quiche with a garden salad and was very, very pleased with the result. So was my son. In fact, he liked it so much that he asked me to make it again.


Quiche Lorraine


To make the pastry: rub 225 grams of plain flour, a pinch of salt and 100 grams of butter into 'breadcrumb' type consistency. Add a very small amount of milk, and knead that in (The milk can be replaced by a beaten egg if preferred). Add a tiny bit more milk if necessary but always a very small amount at a time. If you add too much it will suddenly go sticky and unworkable (if this happens add a little more flour).

6 slices bacon cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups Swiss/Gruyere cheese, diced or grated
9" partially baked pie shell
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon
ground nutmeg
white pepper (go with black if that is all you have)

Cook bacon until almost crisp. Remove it from the pan and drain on paper towels. Sauté onion in 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings until tender.

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Bake the pie shell for just a few minutes. Cover the bottom of the partially baked pie shell with onions, bacon and cheese. Beat eggs and cream together with the salt, nutmeg and white pepper. Pour all into the pie shell.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 350ºF and bake another 15 minutes.

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