Recipe: A Classic Quiche Lorraine

Last Summer I created a slightly skinny quiche recipe using quark instead of cream, stuffed full of bacon (I can do healthy, but only up to a point!) and steamed leaves from the ever growing perpetual spinach plant we had in the vegetable plot last year and I was constantly doing battle with to keep under control. It was actually unusual to have such a different quiche on the menu in our house, because usually we’re perfectly content to make and eat one quiche, and one quiche only: the classic French Quiche Lorraine.
Quiche Lorraine 4

Quiche Lorraine 2

My Mummy has been making it to her own recipe the same way (well, almost the same as the amount of bacon and type of cheese varies depending on what we happen to have in our fridge at the time) as long as I can remember, and it is a family favourite for Summer lunchtimes. I also make it too, but as you can probably tell from the slightly sunk and shrunk edges of the pastry in the picture, pastry and I are not friends. I can fillet fish, bake soufflés and make the most impossibly thin and crisp pizza bases, but for the life of me I can’t seem to get on with pastry making at all, so I try to avoid making anything that involves a pastry base if possible. 

Quiche Lorraine 5

I think this is why I have yet to share our family Quiche Lorraine recipe with you all, but when the guys at Spoilt Pig offered to send me over some of their smoked streaky bacon to try, along with all the ingredients I’d need to throw a quiche together, I knew I had to bite the bullet and just do it. And because they sent me over some pre-made pastry. Which I still managed to screw up. This, in case you are all wondering is why I’ll never, ever be applying for The Great British Bake Off.
Quiche Lorraine 1

But anyway, before we dive into the quiche recipe, alongside my Mummy’s recipe for pastry (if you have any leftover when you’ve filled your personal dish, you can use the scraps to make a couple of jam tarts!) a little bit about the bacon. Now, my usual bacon situation is that I buy it either ready cubed for cooking from the French supermarket (as it is only 6 hours door to door and we have cool boxes for the car, our French fridge always have English supermarket things like milk and yogurt, and our English fridge always has French cheese and butter!), or Waitrose own brand streaky, as it is a good day to day basic. If I want to push the boat out for a treat, I am a bit of a fan of Heston’s Vanilla Cured Back Bacon. 

Smoky, streaky bacon is not really something that has been on my radar since I live in America, as it is not really a family favourite. But actually, I found myself sneaking little hot pieces of Spoilt Pig right out of the pan before it went into the quiche, and it did impart a really nice, meaty flavour into the light egg mixture. While this recipe is supposed to use a whole pack, I did keep a few rashers back to enjoy for breakfast the next day alongside a dressed avocado (what I usually eat for breakfast each morning), and I really enjoyed its mild, smoky flavour (of the bacon, not the avocado!) and the great balance between fat and meat in each rasher.

Quiche Lorraine 3
  • 255g (9 oz) Plain (All Purpose) Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 85g (3 oz) Unsalted Butter
  • 45g (1.5 oz) Cooking Lard
  • 6 tbsp Cold Water 

First, make the pastry. Mix the salt into the flour (I like doing this the American way with a whisk). Cut the cold butter and lard into small pieces and add to the bowl. Making sure your hands are cold (if you have naturally warm hands, run them under a cold tap first) and then rub the flour into the fat. When the mixture resembles fat crumbs add the water to draw it into a ball. Wrap in cling film (food wrap) and refrigerate for at least half an hour. 

Roll out onto a clean, floured surface until you have a round circle big enough to fill your dish, including up the sides. Butter your dish, and using a rolling pin lift the pastry up and lay it across the dish. Push in the sides, and using a sharp knife trim to the edge, but not tight to allow for a little shrinkage. Chill for at least another half an hour in the dish before filling. Though, as I said, I’m terrible at pastry. These are my Mothers directions, but as per my request super (and Cordon Bleu trained) pastry chef baking blogger Emma put up a pastry video. Use it. It is brilliant. 

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celcius (375 degrees fahrenheit). Place a baking tray in the oven to heat up. By putting your quiche on this hot base, you will avoid a soggy bottom without having to blind bake the case first.  Using scissors, cut the bacon into small pieces, and fry until crispy in a small frying pan over a high heat. Set aside to drain away any excess fat on a piece of kitchen towel. 

To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, yolks, cream and milk. Scatter the bacon pieces over the bottom of the chilled pastry case, and pour the filling over the top. Sprinkle with the grated cheese, and season well with salt and pepper. Bake on top of the hot sheet for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set. It may bubble and puff up a little, but the quiche will flatten down again as it cools. It should also still have a little bit of a wobble. Serve at room temperature.

So, a few serving ideas of what to serve with your quiche, aside from a green salad. Obviously there is my Simple Potato Salad, there is the Radish, Caper and Semi-dried Tomato Salad with Lemony Garlic Dressing I posted on Tuesday. Staying on the salad route, there is my Cucumber Salad with Chilli and Poppyseeds, but it you want your salads to have a bit more bite, you could make my Panzanella Salad, or my Fattouch with Radishes and Sumac