Quiche Lorraine is a classic French dish, here packed with gruyere cheese, bacon and smoked ham. Comforting and delicious, it makes a great lunch.
Like a number of schools in the UK, my high school had a few exchange programs with other schools in Europe to help with learning foreign languages and get the experience of staying with a family in another country. My school also had a very strong music department so there were particular links through the orchestra and choir – many people joined one or the other just for the trips they did, staying with families and doing concerts and all the experiences that go with it. I think most of my family took part in one or more of the programs and one person who stayed with us over the years was from Lyon, France and made the most delicious quiche Lorraine for the family.
While my mum has given me her recipe at some point, like many things I have no idea what I have done with it. What I do remember, however, was one of the keys to its deliciousness was plenty of gruyere cheese and both ham and bacon in the filling. It makes for a heartier and more ‘filled’ quiche, but it is oh so delicious.
How do you make a quiche Lorraine?
This recipe isn’t exactly what our French exchange student made for us, but it is pretty close. I have made a couple of adaptations that to me make it a little better. First, I have used the pastry I made for empanadas a while ago as it has a great flavor and is very easy to work with.
I have also added a little onion which is non-traditional in a quiche Lorraine but to me, you can never go wrong with a little onion and most of the best quiches I have had in general have some lightly caramelized onion in there. Then, there’s both bacon and ham and plenty of cheese, all covered with the egg base. It’s a quiche filled to the brim with flavor.
Should you pre-bake the crust?
I seem to remember my mum didn’t blind bake the pastry crust before filling, but I prefer to as I would rather make sure it’s nice and crisp rather than potentially a bit soggy or undercooked. Plus, with this pastry it doesn’t seem to risk being overcooked around the top, but holds a great flavor. It might take a little longer, but I think it’s worth it. Plus you can cook up the bacon and onion while the pastry is cooking.
This quiche Lorraine is filled with deliciousness – quite literally. There’s lots of great smokey bacon and ham flavor, tasty cheese and a smooth creamy egg-custard bringing it all together. It went down well with all in our household – my toddler son included. While its is best fresh, it also freezes well so is great to keep a few pieces to bring out for a packed lunch. I best get making another…
A classic French quiche that's full of delicious flavor.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour 130g
- 1 cup all purpose flour 140g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 oz unsalted butter 55g, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp water cold, may need 1tbsp more
- 6 oz cooked smoked ham 170g
- 5 oz smoked bacon 150g, streaky bacon - 5 thick slices
- 1/2 onion large
- 1 cup gruyere cheese 90g, grated
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream 180ml double cream
- 1/4 cup milk 60ml
- a few grindings of pepper and a dash of nutmeg
Make the pastry by putting the flours and the salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the egg, butter and oil and pulse until like small breadcrumbs.
Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is coming together in larger lumps. Remove from food processor, press together and cover and refrigerate for around 30min.
Roll out to fill a pie dish or tart tin (approx 9in but if shallow, wider), trim around the top and chill for another 30min.
Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
Blind bake the pastry for 20min (by covering the pastry with parchment paper/foil and filling with baking beans or dried beans). Then remove the filling and bake another 5 min uncovered until the pastry is dry. Set aside until fillings are ready or assemble immediately.
Meanwhile cook the bacon in a skillet/frying pan without any oil. Once the bacon has rendered a little fat (a couple mins), add the onion and cook until both are browning, around 15min.
Dice the ham into small pieces and whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, pepper and nutmeg.
Assemble the filling by putting in a layer of ham, then bacon and onions, then grated cheese, and finally pour over egg-cream mix.
Bake for approx 25min until lightly browned on top and set.
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