Quiche, a French cuisine, is an oven-baked dish made with eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Usually, the pastry shell is blind-baked before the other ingredients are added. The most traditional quiche of all is a quiche Lorraine, made by pouring a custard mixture over pieces of bacon, and sometimes cheese, arranged in the tart shell.
A little history: Both France and Germany play roles in the history of the classic quiche Lorraine. Since sovereignty over Lorraine (now a province of northern France) has bounced back and forth between the two countries, the word quiche may have originated with the German Kuchen, meaning “cake” or “pastry”(Essentials of baking by Williams-Sonoma). A true quiche Lorraine would not have cheese as its ingredient.
I intend to make this for lunch and judging by the time needed to prepare the crust and then the baking of the contents, it would at least take me about 1.5 hours. It was my first time making the pastry crust and naturally, was quite fearful if it would turn out well.
I decided to make the basic pie and tart pastry dough (Pate Brisee) which is unsweetened pastry, normally called for in recipes for savory tarts such as quiches, dessert tarts or pies with very sweet fillings. I used a 10″ pie pan and followed the recipe found in James Paterson’s baking.
1 cup cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs (help to make the pastry less tough)
2 tbsp additional water if dough is too dry
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix both flours and salt on slow speed (you don’t want the flour to start ‘flying’) for about 30 minutes. Add the butter and combine it with flour on low to medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the eggs and mix the dough on low to medium speed for 40 seconds up to 2 minutes. The end result should have the dough holding together in a clump. If not, add the 2 tbsp of water. Mine clumped together effortlessly. Thank goodness!
Flatten the dough into a disk on a non-slipped pastry mat. I love this mat because it has markings on it which guides me on the size of dough. Roll out the dough that is big enough to cover your pan (at least 4 inches wider).
This stage is called baking “blind” in which the shell is baked empty before any filling is added. Blind baking the shell is necessary because when liquid or semiliquid fillings are cooked in a shell, the shell must be pre-baked or the filling will keep the shell from getting hot enough to become crispy.
As you can see from the picture, I didn’t roll out the dough at least 4 inches wider in diameter. Thinking that it was good to be able to cover the pan, I just left it as it was.
Into the oven it went, at temperature of 400 F for about 15 minutes for the edge of the tart to turn pale brown and about15 minutes more for the inside of the shell to turn golden brown and look matte instead of shiny. After 10 minutes, I opened the over door and checked and to my horror, the sides had shrunk! I have to think of repairwork because if it continued to be ‘pulled down’, I could not fill the shell with liquid!
So, I did some patch work with the additional dough I had. I’m not sure if it will stick with the existing shell but it’s worth a try. To solve the previous problem, I should have placed a parchment paper over the shell and put dried beans to keep the shell from puffing up in the oven. It worked and after being baked, I set it aside.
For the content of the quiche, you would need
Egg wash to seal the tart shell
1 1/2 cup of flavourful cheese ( I used Gruyere)
4 slabs of thick-sliced bacon
1 cup milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1. Prebake the tart shell. Brush with egg wash and bake for 5 minutes more to seal. Reduce heat to 300 F.
2. Cook the bacon strips over medium heat for about 6 minutes, until they barely begin to brown. Remove, drain on a paper towel. Cut them into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
3. Beat he eggs until combine and then beat in the milk and cream. Add a little pepper.
4. Sprinkle bacon over the tart shell, then spread the cheese over it. Pour the eg mixture last.
5. Place the quiche on a sheet pan for about 40-45 minutes ot until set – there’s no motion on the surface when you move it back and forth. Mine took longer than 45 minutes and I turned up the heat to 350F and baked till set.
Note to self:
1) If dough is not used immediately, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2) My rolled-out dough was too thick this time round. Consider a thinner shell.
3) Consider putting spinach in the quiche.