Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quiche Lorraine (Gruyère cheese and bacon tart from East of France - Lorraine)

Quiche is derived from the German word kuchen, which means cake. It consists of an egg custard (eggs, cream or milk, and seasoning), usually one type of cheese, and fillings (such as bacon, ham, sausage, vegetables, and so on) baked in a crust.

This dish comes from the Lorraine region of France.

map from Wikipedia

Quiche can be served hot or cold and is typically served for breakfast or brunch, but it also makes a nice hors d'œuvre. According to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a classic Quiche Lorraine does not contain cheese.

From Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom

You can use heavy or light cream or milk. Here are the proportions:

* 1 egg in a measuring cup plus cream or milk to the ½-cup level
* 2 eggs in a measuring cup plus cream or milk to the 1-cup level
* 3 eggs in a measuring cup plus cream or milk to the 1½-cup level
* and so on

Blind bake the crust so that you have a crispy crust, which is especially important when baking a pie shell that contains a filling.

For the pâte brisée, follow the same instructions as for the Flamiche.

Recipe for Pâte Brisée

9 inch fluted, removable-bottomed tart pan

200 g (1 cup) flour (half all-purpose and half cake and pastry flour)
5 g (¾ teaspoon) salt
1 egg
100 g (6 tablespoons) butter
15-30 mL (1-2 tablespoons) water

Measure the flour into a large mound on the counter. Make a well and add the salt, egg, and butter. Mix the ingredients in the well with your fingertips. Rub it in with your fingertips or pastry scraper until well blended. (The butter should not be too cold because then it will be too hard to rub in. However, it should not be too warm or soft because then it will make the pastry tough.) Add only enough water to bring the dough together. Knead the pastry very lightly (by pushing bits of dough away from you, which is called fraisage, or final blending). Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough and chill it again. Blind bake the crust by heating the oven to 425°F. Prick the base of the dough (called docking). Line the shell with parchment paper, foil, or even plastic wrap (which is the most flexible and doesn't melt in the oven). Fill with pie weights. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375°F and continue baking until pastry is a light golden color. Remove the lining and pie weights. Continue baking if you're completely cooking the pie shell for about 8-12 minutes until browned. Cool.

Recipe for Quiche Lorraine adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Note: I've added leeks and cheese. I think I was sleeping when I was doing my research for this one since classic Quiche Lorraine doesn't include them. Next time, I'll leave them out!

Serves 4-6

1 pound leek, white parts only, sliced (about 3½ cups)
½ cup water
3 tablespoons butter

½ to 1 cup bacon, cooked and sliced
3 eggs
1½ cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt (leave out if including the bacon)
pinch of pepper
pinch of nutmeg
8-inch pastry shell, partially cooked

¼ cup (1 ounce) Swiss or Gryère cheese, grated
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pea-sized dots

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a covered saucepan, put the leeks, water, salt (if using), and butter, and boil over moderately high heat until liquid has almost evaporated. Lower heat and gently cook for 20-30 minutes until leeks are very tender.

If desired, blanch the bacon in simmering water for 10 minutes to remove the smoky flavor. Then, in a skillet, cook the bacon and set aside.

Blend the eggs, cream, and seasonings. Gradually stir in the leeks and bacon. Check seasoning. Pour into pastry shell. (Fill the shell no more than ¾ full to allow room for puffing.) Sprinkle with the cheese and dot with butter. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and browned.

Tasting Notes

This is a tasty, rich quiche. I found the quiche too salty and next time wouldn't include the salt if I'm including the bacon too.

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $111.29 + $1.68 (pâte brisée) + $12.12 (quiche) = $125.09

Butter used so far: 1 pound, 15 tablespoons


Claudine in France said...


A brief clarification:
There are leek quiches and there are courgette quiches, and they all have their place, but there is only one quiche Lorraine!
An authentic quiche Lorraine does not contain leeks (or any other kind of veg) or cheese. The filling is made simply with bacon, cream and eggs, like this one (see translation here).