Monday, September 12, 2011

Quiche Lorraine: a savory French custard

Quiche is a savory French treat that is commonly served for brunch, lunch, or as an appetizer.  Gruyere, egg, heavy cream, and bacon combine in this richly flavored, creamy custard. Those who attended my rehearsal dinner will probably remember the delicious mini-quiches that my talented sister-in-law Andrea prepared for our guests. This is an adaptation of her basic recipe. I recently served this for a baby shower, and have also made it for Sunday brunch.

I'm a little lazy - I don't find it worth my time to make homemade pie crust, and typically use a frozen pie shell instead. However, if you are more motivated than me, you can line a ceramic pie plate with pastry
and pre-bake for 5 minutes at 450 degrees before adding the other ingredients. If you can't find gruyere cheese, Swiss cheese may be substituted.


1 frozen 9" pie shell
3 strips bacon
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup gruyere, cubed (approx 1 cm cubes)
1/4 cup parmesan, freshly grated
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

(*Note:  If using a deep pie dish, scale the ingredients up by 1/3.)


1.  Preheat the oven to 450F.  If making homemade pie crust, pre-bake it for 5 minutes.

2.  Fry the bacon in a pan and set aside.  Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan.

3.  Fry the onions in the bacon fat until translucent.

4.  Add the onions, gruyere, and parmesan to the pie pastry.  Crumble the bacon and evenly distribute over the cheese-onion mixture.

5.  In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.  Add the cream, nutmeg, and salt and stir to thoroughly combine.

6.  Pour the cream-egg mixture into the pie dish over the cheese mixture.

7.  Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  Turn the temperature down to 400 degrees and bake for approximately another 15 minutes, until a knife inserted in the custard comes out clean.

*Note:  if using a homemade pie crust, cover the edges with foil after the first 15 minutes so they do not burn.

Allow quiche to stand on the counter for 10 minutes prior to serving so it solidifies.

Bon appetit!

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