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.”
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)
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.