22 March 2011

Easy Quiche Lorraine

What makes a good Quiche Lorraine?  Nice, salty bacon, a crisp (as opposed to soggy) crust, and a well-cooked egg custard that is not too dry. The last one is a common problem.

But, anyway, I don't mean to scare you. Because making a quiche is really not that hard.  If a stupid stupid rat creature can do it, well then so can you.

The recipe is an easy one to learn by heart too. Just remember "half fat to flour" for the shortcrust pastry, and 1 egg to 1/2 cup liquid, for the egg custard. The traditional fillings are bacon/ham, and Swiss cheese.  But you can really vary this creatively to include a variety of other ingredients like mushrooms, leeks, broccoli and spinach.

Recipe for Quiche Lorraine

Shortcrust pastry
250 gram flour

125 gram unsalted/salted butter, cut into small cubes, chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
2 - 3 tbsp cold water (may not need all)

Place flour in a mixing bowl and, using a pastry blender, cut chilled butter into flour until the mixture just resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, you can rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips, but be careful not to handle the mixture for too long as the butter will melt). Add beaten egg, mix well.  If needed, add cold water tablespoonful by tablespoonful until a manageable dough forms. 

Roll out the dough on Silpat or lightly floured surface into a 1/4 inch thick round.  Line a lightly greased tart tin with the dough, taking care to smoothen it out and press out any air bubbles beneath the dough. Ensure that the dough comes up evenly to the top of the tart tin (otherwise the wet custard may leak out).  Trim any excess.

Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the freezer.

Line the top of the shortcrust pastry with parchment paper or foil and weigh it down with baking beans. Ensure that the parchment paper or foil hangs over the sides of the tart tin otherwise the sides will burn before the base is baked.

Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until the base of the shortcrust is almost dry. Remove baking beans, cut a whole in the parchment/foil such it will only cover the rim of the shortcrust pastry but not the base. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the base of the shortcrust pastry is dry and lightly browned.

Set aside.

Egg custard

250 gram heavy cream
125 gram mix of bacon and ham, sauteed and chopped
2 eggs, beaten
50 grams cheese, shredded (e.g. Swiss, parmesan)
dash of black pepper
pinch of white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Mix above ingredients well.  Pour mixture carefully into pre-baked shortcrust tart base.  Bake at 180C for 15 to 20 minutes or until the egg is set.  You can test for doneness by shaking the tart tin a little (the egg should not jiggle!) or poking the egg custard with a skewer.  The skewer should not have traces of uncooked egg. Be sure not to confuse this with the wetness on a skewer that is from the steam in the egg. Do not overcook!

Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi!

    Your recipe looks really tasty! And being from the Lorraine region of France I know what Quiche is all about!

    Once you've laid your hand on a good basic recipe (like this one), just trust yourself and let your inspiration (and what's left in your fridge) take the lead. Garlic, (blanched) leek, (sauteed) mushroom... whatever! It will just be perfect.




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