Posting this classic quiche Lorraine on IG was a major success. I was very surprised that a lot of people asked for the recipe. Thinking of it, while the French might have grown up making quiches, in Italy – where we called these “savoury tarts” – it’s a thing only in certain regions, and in many other countries they come ready from the supermarket. I still remember my first quiche was a Sainsbury’s one. The family I au-paired for on the Isle of Wight used to buy quiche Lorraine regularly. I’ll be honest – those ready made quiches are awesome and so good to have handy! You can easily get them in Singapore from M&S or NTUC. But once you learn a thing or two about pastry it feels actually very straightforward to make a fresh one at home too, so here comes the recipe I used in case you want to give it a go.
For the pate Brisée :
- 160g all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons if for a sweet recipe)
- 100g chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, very cold
For the filling:
- 250g bacon – I used half backbone bacon and half home-smoked bacon from @this.is.the.shit.smokery – check them out if you’re based in Singapore
- 200ml milk
- 200ml heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 113g grated gruyere or other cheese (cheddar works, too)
- 1 heaping tablespoon chopped chives (I didn’t have any so I used my usual friend, parsley)
Step 1 – Combine flour, salt, sugar and mix them until well combined.
Step 2 – Add the butter. Some people pulse it in a food processor, I like rubbing the butter in the dry ingredient with my hands. Adding a bit of butter at a time until I have a coarse mixture with visible butter pieces.
Step 3 – Gradually add the ice cold water. In Singapore we always have water in the fridge so I take it out last minute and make sure I use it while it’s still very cold. If you don’t have water in the fridge, place some water in a bowl with ice and then remove the quantity you need.
Step 4 – If you’re using a processor, you can pulse a few tablespoons first, then add one teaspoon at a time. I didn’t mind just kneading the dough. If you are doing so, just make sure you don’t knead for too long. The dough basically has to just hold together. To make it extra flaky, I press the dough with the palm of my hand a few times.
Step 5 – With your hands, shape the dough into ball and flatten it a bit. Don’t worry if you still see bits of butter. They are what make this dough flakey, so it’s actually a good thing! Wrap the dough in cling film or some wax wrap and chill it in the fridge for one hour if you are using it on the same day. Or you can store it in the freezer for future use. You can simply take it out of the freezer the night before you make your quiche.
Step 6 – It’s time to do some blind baking! Turn the oven on at 180° C. Stretch the dough on a floured surface, using a rolling pin. You can also use your hands, but I find I get a much neater result with the rolling pin. Try to obtain a flat disc that goes a few centimeters beyond the sides of your tart dish. For mine, I used a 24 cm diameter dish.
Step 7 – Pierce your tart with a fork in several places. This usually helps my dough not to rise unevenly. Then line the tart with foil and fill it with weights. Use your blind baking weights if you have some, alternatively you can use beans, sugar or rice.
Step 8 – Bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the pate brisée from the oven, remove the pie weights (the easiest way to do this is to lift up the foil by the edges) and the foil, and set aside.
Step 9 – Cook the bacon. I use a cast iron pan for this, which is rather small. So I had to cook my bacon in batches. Let the pan get really hot, then place your bacon strips at the bottom of the pan. Turn the strips over a few times to ensure a crispy texture. Once they are brown and crispy, place them on a plate lined with paper towel, to absorb the excess fat.
Step 10 – Once you’re done with the bacon, cut it in small pieces of 2-3 cm each. I like to use scissors for this because it’s much faster and it doesn’t break the meat unevenly!
Step 11 – Now proceed to make the filling. Start by mixing the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and part of the chives if you are using them (I used parsley). Add the milk and cream and whisk vigorously to create air bubbles that will make the texture light and fluffy.
Step 12 – Arrange the bacon and cheese at the bottom of your baked crust. Whisk the eggy mix for another few seconds before pouring it into the pie crust. You can gently stir to make sure that the cheese and bacon are distributed in the mix. Sprinkle the remaining chives on top.
Step 13 – Bake your quiche for 30-40 minutes. You can move it gently to see if it wiggles after 30 minutes. If it wiggles, and has a nice golden colour all over the surface, it’s done!
Step 14 – Best served at room temperature!
P.S. Did you know that you can save the excess fat of the bacon? You can use it to add flavour to your stir fries or roasted veggies!