Quiche- The Seductive Pie. Meet Lorraine…

So says Thomas Keller, world renowned chef and chef-owner of Bouchon.  One of his many cookbooks (they are amazing and not for the faint of heart) is called Bouchon.  That’s where I went for my quiche information.  That is my starting point for quiche, my way.

Thomas recommends using a 2-inch ring mold for the quiche shell.  As I don’t have such a tool, I will be using small, individual pie plates.  Yes, Thomas, I know I risk overcooking the custard.  I think I can manage the risks…  This quiche is a traditional one- Quiche Lorraine- made with bacon and onion.  I also made a vegetarian version by omitting the bacon and adding spinach.

Spinach quiche on the left.
Lorraine’s on the right.

This recipe makes six single serving quiches.
Ingredients
For the shell
2     cups all purpose flour, sifted, plus more for rolling
1     tsp salt
8     ounces butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4  cup ice water
canola oil

For the batter
1     cup milk
1     cup heavy cream
3     large eggs
1/2     tbsp kosher salt
1/8  tsp ground white pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg

For the “Lorraine” filling
1/2  lb slab bacon, cut into 1 1/2 inch long x 3/8 inch thick matchsticks
1     cup caramelized onions
1/2  tsp kosher salt
1/8  tsp freshly ground black pepper
1     tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/4 cup Emmentaler cheese, grated

Directions
For the shell
Thomas Keller warns that is it crucial that the butter be completely incorporated, with no visible specks remaining.

Place one cup of flour and the salt in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment.  Turn the mixer to low speed and add the butter a small handful at a time.  When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is completely incorporated. Reduce the speed and add the remaining flour, mix until just combined.  Add the water and mix again. The dough will come around the paddle and should feel smooth, not sticky, to the touch.

Remove the dough from the mixer, pat into an 8-inch disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day.

Lightly brush the inside of the pie plates with canola oil and place them on a baking sheet.  Place the dough on a floured surface and rub on all sides with flour.  Flatten into a larger circle using a rolling pin.  Continue rolling until the dough is 3/16th of an inch thick and about 6 to 7-inches in diameter.  Or, at least an inch wider than your pie plates.  Place the dough into the pans and press gently into the sides and the bottom corners of the pans.  Fold any excess dough over, against the sides of the pans to prevent it from shrinking down the sides.  Check for cracks or holes in the dough and patch with dough scraps.  Place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

Line the quiche shells with a round of parchment paper and fill with dried beans.  Bake the shells for 25 minutes or until the edges of the dough are lightly browned but the bottom is still light in colour.  Remove the parchment and beans.  Return the shells to the oven for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.  Fill any new cracks or holes with dough.

For the batter:
Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until scalded and a skin begins to form on the surface.  Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.

Scalding the milk.
 I infused the milk mixture with fresh thyme.

Place eggs, milk and cream mixture, salt, white pepper and pinch of nutmeg in a blender and blend on low speed for a few seconds to combine.  Increase the speed to high and blend 30 seconds until the batter is light and foamy.

For the Quiche Lorraine filling:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the fat is rendered- it will not be crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Combine the caramelized onions and bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and thyme, then stir together until warm.  Drain on a paper towel.

Filling the quiches

Divide three quarters of the cheese and the onion mixture evenly among the four quiche shells.  Blend the quiche batter again, then pour the batter to cover the ingredients and fill the quiche shells almost to the top.  Bring the quiches to the oven rack, then completely fill the shells.  Top with a sprinkle of the cheese.

Filled quiches ready for the oven.
The excess crust will be removed
when the quiches are cooked and
cooled.

Bake for 1 hour (approximately) depending on the size of your quiche, at 325 degrees.  It is ready when the top of the quiche is browned and the custard is set when the pan is jiggled.  Remove the quiches from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a rack.  Refrigerate until chilled, at least one day or up to three days.

Once the quiches are chilled, remove the excess crust from around the rim, with a knife.

To serve: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.  Reheat the quiches for approximately 15 minutes or until heated through.

WANNA PLAY?
Change up the filling by using wilted fresh spinach or leeks or sauteed mushrooms (of all kinds) and change up the cheese by using crumbled roquefort or grated smoked cheese or a mixture of cheese you have on hand.  Omit the bacon for a vegetarian quiche.

Go crustless!

Enjoy!

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