Creamy and rich, studded with smoky bacon and filled with nutty Gruyère cheese, the classic quiche Lorraine is one of the most filling foods on earth. And it’s one of the few dishes that’s perfect for any time of day, for any occasion, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, Easter, Christmas, baby showers, bridal showers, potlucks, game days, tea parties and more. Not many courts can claim such reverence.
If you think making Quiche Lorraine is beyond your skills, I’m here to prove you wrong. Read on and you will discover how to make the world’s easiest and most delicious quiche. And I say that with confidence.
What is quiche?
Contrary to popular belief, quiche does not originate in France. The pancake was invented in Lorraine, a medieval kingdom under German rule. In fact, the term quiche comes from the German word kuchen, or cake, and the original crust was made from bread dough.
The French later adopted and improved the dish, renaming it Lorraine – a nod to the Lorraine region of France. The French also changed the crust, as most quiche recipes call for a buttery pie crust or puff pastry.
Early Quiche Lorraine recipes were simple – crust, eggs, cream and bacon. Only later was cheese added to the custard pie. And then onions. And then meat, veggies, and other ingredients from diced ham to smoked salmon, crabmeat to ground beef, and all manner of veggies like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, and a variety of cheeses.
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Do a little online searching and you won’t find a shortage of quiche varieties. But what is special about the Quiche model?
In short, the perfect quiche consists of a buttery, flaky crust and a creamy custard filling. It doesn’t matter what ingredients you add, the goal is to create a soft, fluffy pudding that’s simply flavored and loaded with savory ingredients.
Follow my tips below and you’ll make a flawless quiche every time.
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This is how you make quiche properly
Use a deep pie crust. A regular 9 inch pie crust is not deep enough. I recommend using a store-bought frozen deep dish pie crust because it’s foolproof and ready to use. But before baking the base, prick the base of the dough several times to keep it from rising in the oven.
Keep an eye on your crust when “blind baking” (baking without the filling). Check the crust every few minutes and if it puffs up, gently prick the dough with a fork to deflate.
Use cream in the filling, not milk or half and half. This ensures the richest, creamiest pudding.
Bake at 325 degrees. Although many quiche recipes recommend 350 degrees, cooking at a lower temperature will keep the pudding moist and silky. Higher temperatures can cause the eggs to beat.
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Use Gruyère cheese from Switzerland bearing the AOP/Appellation d’Origine Protégée seal. It’s complex, nutty, and predictable when it comes to baking. It’s also a little pricey, but you don’t need much and the rest of the ingredients in the quiche are inexpensive. It’s worth the effort.
Shallots are optional but highly recommended. As mentioned above, onions are not added to the traditional quiche lorraine. The version with onions is called Quiche Alsacienne. But I love the delicate sweet flavor of shallots, so I called for a chopped shallot in the recipe below. If you wish, you are welcome to omit it.
Cook your bacon in the oven. This method saves time and leaves practically no cleaning. Plus, you have just enough time to bake the crust, chop the shallot, and grate the cheese.
To cook your bacon, place the strips on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp.
Serve your quiche hot or warm to ensure a flaky, crispy crust. Chilled quiches often yield a soggy crust.
Make the quiche ahead of time. This quiche can be made up to 24 hours in advance, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated until ready to reheat.
To reheat, cover the quiche with aluminum foil and bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center is hot.
Freeze your quiche. This quiche freezes wonderfully for up to three months. To prepare the quiche for freezing, after baking, cool completely, then wrap in cling film and then aluminum foil.
Thaw the quiche overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. To reheat, cover the quiche with aluminum foil and bake in a 300 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center is hot.
Recipe: The Ultimate Quiche Lorraine
serves: 4 to 6
- 9-inch quick-frozen pie crust that stays frozen until ready to use
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, chopped (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream or heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon (about 6 slices), cooked until crisp and chopped
- 1 ⅓ cups finely grated Gruyere cheese, about 4½ ounces
- Chopped fresh chives for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Thaw the pie crust until just soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, about 10 minutes. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is lightly golden, checking every few minutes to make sure the crust is not rising. If this is the case, gently prick the dough with a fork to deflate it.
- Set the crust aside and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.
- Heat the oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Try not to brown the shallots. Remove from stove and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and nutmeg.
- Scatter the shallots evenly over the bottom of the cooked crust. Top with half the bacon, all the Gruyère and then the rest of the bacon. Pour the egg and cream mixture over it.
- Transfer the quiche to a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the custard is set. It shouldn’t wobble when you gently shake the baking sheet. Leave to cool for five minutes.
- Serve hot or warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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