No other savory pie is more elegant than classic Quiche Lorraine. Get the step-by-step instructions to make this elegant, rich, custardy French dish in your home kitchen.
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I avoided making shortcrust pastry from scratch for years. I dreaded it even. I’d read advice from seasoned cooks who hammered on how important it is to have a good pie pastry recipe in your repertoire and insisted that it’s quick to master once you’ve practiced it a few times. Yet somehow, the art of the flaky crust had eluded me. No matter how hard I tried, something always went wrong. It felt like the pie gods had decided that I wouldn’t ever enjoy the pleasures of a deliciously flaky, perfectly golden homemade crust.
Because trying and failing at making shortcrust pastry was so frustrating, I eventually turned to store-bought crusts. I was happiest when we lived in Paris and I could buy the “Marie” brand: made with real butter, sold already rolled out, and large enough to fit fluted tart pans. It was my go-to solution to churn out delicious sweet and savory tarts and pies in a flash.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good-quality, all-butter, ready-made shortcrust pastry back home, so I had to abandon my pie-making adventures for a while. After a couple years of no homemade quiches, tarts, and pies, I thought, Enough! If I’d mastered finicky things such as macarons and éclairs, surely I could learn to make simple, humble pie dough, right? I decided I’d tackle the task once and for all.
I went back to reference books and applied the years of recipe development and testing experience I had under my belt. I took notes of what worked best for me and tweaked my recipe until I got it down to a science. Now I can make shortcrust pastry in a flash, and the recipe never fails. Ever.
Mastering shortcrust pastry finally allowed me to resume making pies and savory tarts at home. I now have lots of pie and tart recipes up my sleeve, from Lattice-Top Blueberry Pie to Quiche Lorraine. If you too have struggled with making shortcrust pastry from scratch, I encourage you to try my foolproof shortcrust pastry recipe. It literally comes together in seconds in the food processor! I promise, it’s life-changing.
No other savory pie is more elegant and spectacular than classic Quiche Lorraine. Making that classic bistro dish at home allows me to travel back to Paris on a dime. Serving a generous slice of Quiche Lorraine with a lightly dressed green salad (and an optional glass of wine!) is as French as it gets. Today I’m happy to share my go-to recipe for this rustic French dish.
There are various versions of Quiche Lorraine, the most basic of which is just eggs, bacon, milk, and cream. The addition of caramelized onions and Comté cheese is one of the most frequent adaptations and the one I like most because the flavors complement each other so well.
Helpful Tips for Making Classic Quiche Lorraine
Plan ahead: Quiche Lorraine comes together in several steps, so this is not a last-minute recipe. It is, however, the perfect make-ahead dish: blind baking the crust, baking the quiche, and refrigerating it overnight creates a textbook rich, custardy result.
Choose the right pan: This deep-dish quiche requires the use of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan, which should be 3-in (7.5 cm) deep. If you don’t have such a pan, you can also divide the recipe (including the pastry) between two regular 9-in (23 cm) pie plates. See notes for additional tips and instructions for doing this.
Double that shortcrust recipe: To comfortably fit the deep-dish springform pan, you need to make a double batch of shortcrust pastry. I recommend making the two batches separately, one after the other, then gathering and rolling them together. This is easier and quicker than overcrowding the bowl of the food processor and compromising the final texture of the pastry. See the recipe below for additional instructions.
Invest in pie weights—or just dry peas: The shortcrust pastry must be baked before you add the filling. This process is called blind baking and allows the crust to crisp up before you add the wet filling. Since the recipe uses a straight-edged pan, you will need to line the frozen pie crust with parchment paper and then fill the pan with pie weights to the brim. If you don’t, the crust will crumple down upon baking, making for a very sad-looking Quiche Lorraine. Pie weights can be expensive: if you don’t have them on hand, you can simply buy a 2-lb. (900 g) bag of dry whole yellow peas or chickpeas and use those instead. Note that you won’t be able to cook those peas after they’ve been used as pie weights, but you can let them cool, store them in a zip-top bag, and reuse them over and over again. (I’ve been using the same bag of dry peas for years!)
No pie weights or peas?Overhang! If you don’t have pie weights or dry peas to keep the pastry in place, you can let the pastry hang over the sides of the pan and blind-bake it as-is. The pastry will hold up nicely, so you then fill the quiche and keep baking. For a neat presentation, you can cut out that extra pastry with a sharp knife before you unmold and serve the quiche.
Make that cream mixture extra-frothy: The secret to keeping the filling ingredients from sinking to the bottom of this deep-dish Quiche Lorraine is to beat the liquid ingredients until the mixture gets extra-frothy using a hand mixer or a stand blender. As you layer the caramelized onions, the bacon, and the cheese with the frothy custard, the air bubbles will “hold” the solids and keep them distributed throughout the quiche during baking.
Classic Quiche Lorraine is an extraordinary dish. It can be made a day or more ahead, and it’s just as delicious hot or cold. It can also be served any time of day, from breakfast to a late-night snack!
Make the two batches of Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry, one after the other. When the first one is done, dump it on a floured working surface, and make the second batch right away. Dump it over the first batch, then, using your hands, gather the whole thing into a loose, flattened ball. Sprinkle the dough with flour, then roll out to a 16-in (40 cm) circle. (Sprinkle with more flour as needed to prevent sticking.) The pastry should be about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
Carefully fold the dough in half, then place over the bottom half of the prepared springform pan. Unfold, then gently ease the dough into the pan, pressing it onto the bottom and creasing the dough to flatten it against the sides of the pan. Using a fork, prick the bottom pastry all over.
If blind baking with pie weights or dry peas, cut off the overhanging pastry so the pastry is flush is with the top of the pan.If blind baking without pie weights or dry peas, let the pastry hang over the sides of the pan. Freeze the pastry-lined pan for at least 30 minutes, or until ready to blind bake.
TO BLIND BAKE THE CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
If blind baking with pie weights or dry peas, cut out a large piece of parchment paper and ease it into the pastry to line it. Fill the pan with pie weights or dry peas. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully lift the parchment with the weights or peas out of the pan (transfer these into a large bowl to let cool completely before storing), then return the pan to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the crust looks dry and is light golden brown. Set aside on a cooling rack.
If blind baking without pie weights or dry peas, place the pan with the overhanging pastry straight from the freezer to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust looks dry and is light golden brown. Set aside on a cooling rack.
FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS
In a large saute pan or Dutch oven set over medium heat, warm up the extra-virgin olive oil until shimmering. Add the sliced onions, sprinkle with 1 tsp (5 ml) of the salt, then stir to combine. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, stir, reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the onions are tender and lightly browned, about 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes to ensure the onions cook evenly. Transfer the cooked onions to a large bowl and let cool completely.
In a skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp but not dry. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the cooked onions and let cool.
Place the springform pan with the blind baked over a baking sheet to catch any leaks. Mix the cooked onions and bacon to combine, then spread half of the mixture over the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the custard over the onions. Sprinkle with half the grated cheese. Spread the remaining onion and bacon over. Blend the remaining custard again to refroth, then pour into the crust. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Bake for about 90 minutes, or until the top of the quiche is golden brown and the center is just set. The center of the Quiche Lorraine should still jiggle a bit: it will set fully as the quiche cools.
Transfer the Quiche Lorraine to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, at least 2 hours.Refrigerate until the quiche is fully chilled, at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight. Refrigerating the quiche will allow it to fully set and slice more cleanly. You can keep the quiche refrigerated for up to 3 days.
If you blind baked the crust without pie weights or dry peas, using a sharp knife to cut off the extra crust along the rim.
To unmold the Quiche Lorraine, slide a sharp knife along the edge of the ring mold or cake pan to loosen the quiche, then loosen the springform and remove the quiche from the pan.
Slice the Quiche Lorraine into portions, then serve cold or room temperature. You can also reheat portions in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 10 minutes. Serve the quiche with a lightly dressed green salad.
Refrigerate leftover Quiche Lorraine in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
How to bake this Quiche Lorraine in two separate 9-inch (23 cm) pie platesMake the two batches of Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry, but keep each batch separate. Roll out one batch at a time, then lay each rolled-out crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Cut off the excess pastry, prick the bottoms all over with a fork, then freeze for at least 20 minutes.Blind bake the crusts (with or without pie weight or dry peas) at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes (remove the pie weight or dry peas after 20 minutes if you’re using them.)Prepare the onions, bacon, and custard as indicated. Divide the ingredients between the two blind baked crusts, when sprinkle with the cheese.Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the tops of the quiches are golden brown and the centers are just set. The centers of the quiches should still jiggle a bit: they will set fully as they cool. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. Serve as indicated.
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