Quiche Lorraine Recipe. This flavoursome quiche is the perfect warming meal for a cool autumn day.
Quiche Lorraine is completely a French creation, originating in the early 14th Century, although there is some evidence that the Italians were making something similar in the 13th Century. Although the term quiche or kiche is derived from the German name kuchen the name itself comes from the region of Lorraine in France.
The principle of this dish is a savoury tart made from a pastry base which can be shortened with lard or butter. Importantly, the pastry is always cooked in a fluted tin, which helps create a crispy edge. Then filled with a custard mix made of eggs and cream, and seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Gruyere or cheddar cheese was added to give more protein, and other variations, such as spinach, bacon and onions have been added over time.
Quiche Lorraine was once only served as hors-d’euvres, to a larger banquet. Distinctively, the recipe for Quiche Lorraine in the 20th Century has added lardons of bacon or pancetta, to make a “more of a meal”. Any cheese can be used as long as it has a subtle flavour to match the other fillings.
When making, importantly, keep the pastry cold. Use cold ingredients and chill while the dough is resting. Baking the pastry before adding the filling is important to create a crisp, short pastry case. Try to avoid overcooking the egg custard. Like other egg tarts, remove the quiche from the oven when the liquid mix has just stopped wobbling in the centre. It will continue to cook after being removed from the oven and create a very tender, soft, and succulent filling.
100g cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold water
300g streaky bacon, diced
1 tablespoon salted butter
½ leek, green and white parts, sliced thinly
4 free-range eggs
100g gruyere cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
To make the pastry, put the flour and salt into a food processor with the butter. Process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water a little at a time. Process until the mixture just come together in a ball. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in bees wax wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Grease a 23cm x 3cm deep loose bottomed flan tin with butter. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and line the flan tin. Trim away excess pastry and prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork. Line with baking paper and return to the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). Arrange baking beans over the baking paper and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is golden. Lower the oven setting to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove and place on kitchen paper towels to drain away any excess fat. Melt the butter in the same frying pan, add the leeks and cook for 2 minutes until tender. Place in the same dish with the bacon.
Beat the eggs with the cream, to make a custard. Spread the bacon, leeks and cheese over the cooked pastry base. Pour over the egg custard mix, and allow the mix to fill the tin and cover the filling. Grate over the fresh grated nutmeg.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and just set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.