Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quiche Lorraine

Christine’s Quiche Lorraine

At this time of the year I like a light and cold lunch. This savoury pie, named after the Lorraine region (north-east of France), is excellent eaten cold and served with a green salad. The main ingredients are smoked bacon (des lardoons fumés), eggs (des œufs) and cream (de la crème fraîche). The traditional quiche Lorraine did not include cheese but today some recipes have Swiss cheese (du gruyère) in. To make it lighter my Mum usually replaces the cream with milk. I also like to add ham and shallot in my quiche.

Here is what you will need to make 1 quiche:
A baking dish of 24 cm diameter
For the short crust pastry (pâte brisée)
  • 150gr plain floor, all-purpose
  • 75gr unsalted butter, diced (taken out from the fridge in advance so it is soft)
  • 1 pinch of salt
For the filling:
  • 3 eggs
  • 225ml milk (whole or low fat)
  • 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 170gr bacon (diced or if stripes cut into 2cm pieces)  
  • 200gr ham (diced)
  • 1 shallot, sliced

  1. Crust: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add salt and mix well.  Make a well in the centre. Add butter in.  With your fingertips, work the butter with the flour until coarse crumbs form a ball of dough. Add water as needed. If the dough is sticky, work in a little more flour. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in cling film, and chill until firm about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven at mark no.4-5 (180-190 º C) for 15mn. 
  3. Filling: In a skillet cook bacon over medium heat until almost crisp. Add shallot in and cook until translucent. Remove from heat. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs together with milk. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  4. Roll pastry and line the dish.
  5. Spread the ham on bottom. Transfer the bacon and shallot mixture in. Pour over the egg & milk batter.
  6. Cook for about 40mn or until top becomes golden.
  7. Let the quiche sit for a while before cutting into wedges. Serve with a green salad.
Bon appétit!

For a lighter version vegetable oil (1/2 cup canola or grape seed oil) can replace butter in the crust. You can also omit the egg yolks and add one more egg white. 
The dough can be prepared in advance and put in the fridge for a few days (wrapped tightly in cling film).

I love making short crust pastry.  As a general rule the quantity of fat is half the quantity of flour. I particularly like to work the flour and the butter together with my fingers until obtaining sand-like grains. It is quite relaxing and similar to shaping clay and making pottery items.

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