Quiche Lorraine is one of these dishes that I remember well from my childhood associating it with the numerous happy and hot summer holidays I spent in Southern France. My mother used to buy single portion-sized Quiche Lorraines from the local butcher in our village at the Côte d’Azur, and we (kids) would invariably devour those on the spot (i.e. cold) before they hit the oven of our holiday apartment. Which is probably why I also never quite liked it. Regardless of this, the practice of buying and devouring Quiche Lorraine continued and so it happened that to me Quiche Lorraine became one of these dishes that you remember eating as a child without really knowing why. Needless to say that I am feeling lucky nowadays that I came across the hot version of this dish at a later stage of my life.
What I also discovered later in my life is that I actually prefer the „Alsacienne“ variation of Quiche Lorraine which quite simply means that the filling includes onions and cheese whereas Quiche Lorraine, strictly speaking, only contains lardons (bacon). This being said, you may choose whether you add these two ingredients as suggested in the recipe below or whether you are going for the very classic Quiche Lorraine, which means that you quite simply skip these steps – otherwise, the recipe below is the same for both variations.
The recipe below follows the traditional way of making Quiche Lorraine or Alsacienne. I went through the entire process of trying to improve the classic style by adding flavors, exchanging ingredients or dabbling with recipes suggesting enormously complicated cooking processes. As it turned out – at least to my taste – the classic way is fine as it is.
For the dough:
- 200 grams of flour
- 100 grams of cold butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- a couple of tablespoons of water
For the filling:
- 150 grams of lardons (bacon pieces)
- 3 yellow onions
- 3 large eggs
- 500 grams of crème fraîche
- 50 grams of Comté cheese
- salt, pepper
Preparing the dough:
- Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto the clean kitchen counter or a baking mat. Cut the cold butter into small pieces into the flour. Rub the butter and the flour between your hands until you have a crumble.
- Add the salt. Form a depression in the center of your flour mix and add the egg yolk. Quickly start kneading the ingredients adding tablespoons of water one by one until the dough is smooth, but not sticky. Should the dough become too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Form a ball, wrap it into cellophane and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Butter a quiche pan and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Prick the bottom with a fork all over.
- Put the quiche pan into the oven and bake only the crust for 10 minutes (blind baking). Take the crust out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius for baking the quiche with the filling (see step 7 – Preparing the filling below).
Preparing the filling:
- Fry the lardons in a non-stick frying pan over medium to hot heat without any addition of frying fat. Fry for a few minutes. The lardons should not turn crispy or even brown but should be merely lightly fried, so fry them neither too hot nor for too long.
- Take the lardons out of the frying pan and set aside. Keep the pan with the fat that got released from frying the lardons for frying the onion.
- Peel the onions, cut in halves and then into thin slices. Fry over medium heat in the same non-stick frying pan used for frying the lardons. Fry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until soft. The onion should not get too brown. Should it get to dry towards the end of the frying time add a teaspoon of olive oil.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. Beat the eggs with an electric or hand mixer until well mixed. Beat in the crème fraîche. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg.
- Grate the cheese and set aside.
- First, spread the lardons, then the fried onion and then the cheese over the half-baked crust (see step 6 – Preparing the dough above). Finally, pour the egg and crème fraîche mix into the pan. Cover the solid ingredients properly with the liquid filling.
- Bake the quiche at 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool down for a while in order to allow the filling to solidify properly.