It’s National Quiche Lorraine Day!
Quiche Lorraine has become a classic staple of French cuisine. However, its origin is known to be Germany—specifically, Lothringen—in1586. It is recorded to appear at the court of Charles the 3rd, Duke of Lorraine.
The French renamed the town Lorraine. The word quiche—as French as it may sound—is actually derived from the German word for cake, kuchen. (If you’re interested in linguistic evolution or word origins, this is from Wikipedia: “The Lorraine Franconian dialect of the German language is historically spoken in much of the region, where German Kuchen, “cake”, was first altered to “küche”. Typical Alemannic changes unrounded the ü (/y/) and shifted the fricative “ch” (/ç/) to “sh” ([ʃ]), resulting in “kische”, which in standard French orthography became spelled “quiche.” Got that?)
The original recipe consisted of eggs, cream, bacon, and bread dough for the crust. Later on, the French brought it up a notch in sophistication by exchanging the bread-dough crust for a flakier pastry crust. Cheese was also added later.
Quiche became popular in the U.S. in the 1950s with the widespread introduction of French cuisine in the home, and this was when the notion that “real men don’t eat quiche” was born. Why? Probably because quiche was, and is, often a lunch or main entree dinner option, alongside a salad or perhaps some soup. Women seem to be satisfied with this kind of meal. Men aren’t. Or weren’t. Now that men (in some places and circles) have moved away from that big meat-and-potatoes-with-lots-of-gravy-and-biscuits kind of diet, they are more open to lighter fare.
Below are a couple of recipe for a traditional Quiche Lorraine, courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, and a vegetarian version, courtesy of Jewishfood-list.com. Plus, I’m throwing in a Broccoli Quiche, just because quiche is a great thing.
Flaky Butter Crust, recipe follows
6 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into narrow strips (or “lardons”)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the edges. (Alternatively, a 9-inch pie pan can be used.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard the fat or reserve for another use.
Arrange the bacon evenly over the bottom of the baked crust.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and half and half. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until the custard is golden, puffed, and set yet still slightly wiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with Simple Salad.
Flaky Butter Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter in the processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse quickly 5 or 6 times, or until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the container. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a medium bowl, and mix with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together and is no longer dry, being careful not to overmix. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface according to the recipe, fit it into the pan, and allow to rest again in the refrigerator before baking.
Yield: one 9-inch tart or pie crust.
Quiche Lorraine, Vegetarian
Serves: 6 to 8
1 deep 9″ pie tin, lined with an unbaked pastry shell
4 large or extra large eggs, plus 1 extra egg white
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) freshly grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 pound diced soy Canadian “bacon”
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, peeled, sliced, and separated into rings
1 3-ounce can (1/2 cup) broiled, sliced mushrooms in butter sauce, drained (obviously, you can slice and sauté fresh mushrooms instead of using canned)
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F. Prick bottom and sides of unbaked pastry with tines of fork. Bake 5 minutes. Slightly beat one egg white. Slightly brush over pastry. Bake 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven. Place on wire rack to cool.
Pour Gruyere cheese, Parmesan cheese, and flour into mixing bowl. Lightly stir with fork. Evenly sprinkle over pastry shell. Evenly sprinkle with “bacon.” Set aside.
Melt butter in skillet. Add onion rings. Sauté over low flame until golden. Turn off flame under pot. Evenly spread layer of onions over “bacon.” Evenly sprinkle with mushrooms. Set aside.
Beat eggs in mixing bowl. Add cream, salt, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Blend thoroughly. Pour into pie shell.
Place pan on center shelf of oven. Bake 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until puffed and golden, and knife inserted in center of custard comes out clean (about 10 to 15 minutes longer).
Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
All this talk about vegetarian bacon reminds me of this wonderful quiche recipe, which was given to me by a former colleague (who was from France), and everyone has always raved about it.
Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z’L
Courtesy of Easy-FrenchFood.com
Prep time: 20 min – Cook time: 40 min
1 round unsweetened pie crust
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup shredded cheese (gruyere or swiss work well)
11/2 cups crème fraîche (or whipping cream)
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Begin by preparing the crust for blind baking. Fit the crust to a 10 inch tart pan(insert link) and prick it through with the tines of a fork in about 20 places. Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 400°F. (Placing the crust in the freezer helps to keep it from slipping and bubbling when you bake it.)
Place the chilled crust directly in the hot oven and bake for 12 minutes until just golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 375° F.
Steam the broccoli for about 3 minutes in the microwave. It should be just barely tender. Don’t over steam or you’ll lose the good flavor of this vegetable.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a small no stick skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally just until the onion is soft (about 5 to 8 minutes).
Spread the broccoli and onions evenly on the bottom of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the cheese on top of this.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, crème fraiche, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper together just until blended. Pour this on top of the vegetables and cheese. Place the pan.in the oven and bake just until done – about 40 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
Mushrooms: Substitute 1 cup of sliced mushrooms for 1 cup of the broccoli. Precook the mushrooms with the onion.
Ham: Add 1 cup of diced ham for an extra punch.