quiche Lorraine

A few weeks ago I decided I wanted to do a quiche Lorraine for the diner (Monday, I make savory pies for them to sell during the week), except I wasn’t sure what, exactly, a quiche Lorraine was. It sounded classy to me — very French and very basic — so I did a little digging around for The Formula.  

Turns out, there is none. Best I can tell “Quiche Lorraine” is just a fancy name for any old kind of quiche: meat, veggie, cheese, whatever. 

So I consulted with a few good food writers on their versions, picked one that sounded classy, and then slapped it on the diner menu and called it Quiche Lorraine. 

And now I make a mean, very basic, very French, and very, very delicious quiche Lorraine. It’s superbly creamy, like a custard almost, and full of all the best things: leeks, Gruyere, bacon, and fresh thyme. 

It smells like heaven while it’s baking, and I always think to myself, “Of all the things in the bakery, this is what I want to eat the most.”

Bon appétit!

Quiche Lorraine
Adapted from Chef John of Allrecipes (video included).

Layering in all the ingredients sounds nitpicky, but it keeps the fillings from sinking to the bottom, so do it. 

Also, if you eat this quiche too warm, it’ll be so incredibly creamy soft that you may be fooled into thinking it’s underbaked. It’s not. Just let it set up a bit and try again. 

1 9-inch disk all-butter pie pastry
8-10 pieces of bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil, butter, or bacon fat
½ cup chopped leeks (just the lower half)
½ cup chopped onion
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces Gruyere
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup milk

Parbake the crust: Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie dough. Press a piece of parchment into the plate and fill it to the brim with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the crust is beginning to brown around the edges. Remove the parchment and beans and bake another 5 minutes, or until it’s dry on the bottom and beginning to brown. Check for holes and tears: if any, patch them with a little extra pie dough thinned with water. Brush the edge of the crust with egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten together with a pinch of salt and splash of cream) and set aside.

Prepare the ingredients: Chop the bacon and fry until crispy and brown and then set aside on a paper towel to drain. Saute the leeks and onion in the bacon grease, along with the salt, black pepper, and red pepper, until soft. Grate the Gruyere into a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs with the cream and milk. 

Assemble the quiche: Scatter ⅔ of the onion mixture over the bottom of the pie, followed by ⅓ of the bacon pieces and ⅔ of the cheese. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the cheese and then gently pour the egg custard into the pan. Artfully arrange the remaining onion mixture, followed by the remaining bacon and then the cheese.

Bake the quiche at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and the center is set. 

Cool the quiche almost to room temperature before cutting and serving.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (2.19.18), doppelganger, lemon cheesecake morning buns, almond cake, in the eyes of the beholder, digging the ruffles, homemade twix bars.

9 Comments

  • Viviane

    This may be very good, but it is not a Quiche Lorraine. In a quiche lorraine, there are no leeks, no onions and no gruyère… There are lardons (smoked pork breast cut in small cubes), eggs, cream and possibly milk, salt and pepper, period. If you want a recipe for a French dish, please ask the French. But I know that we certainly do the same with “American” recipes here…

  • Deborah

    Julia (Child) does not include any cheese in her quiche Lorraine, but Jacques(Pepin) does include Gruyere in his and still calls it quiche Lorraine.

  • MAC

    Wait, which all-butter crust recipe?

    Also, have you ever tried a potato crust? Or a crust that uses (frozen) bacon grease? My grandma Agnes did that with her apple pie. I’m going to try it.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Oops, I forgot the link. Just added it now — thank you!

      Yes to potato crusts, and I’m kinda hankering after one now, and no to bacon grease — just lard. But I think it’s an excellent idea! When you try it, report back. I may copycat you.

  • MAC

    I’ll do that. I’m going to do the bacon grease crust on an apple pie. Now, this butter crust (thanks for the link)… you still do a tablespoon of sugar in a quiche crust?

    • Jennifer Jo

      I do. I actually can’t tell the difference with, or without, the sugar so I just keep it in for continuity’s sake.

      Sometimes for my savory pies, I use the recipe for pastry with lard, an egg, and vinegar — that one is soooo good.

Leave a Reply