Let me show you How to Make Quiche Lorraine, the Queen of all quiches! A delicious egg custard seasoned with nutmeg gets poured over shallots sautéed with bacon and herbs in a tender, flaky pastry crust. Baked until just set and served warm for the perfect brunch, lunch or Mother’s Day surprise.
What is a Quiche Lorraine?
A true, classic Quiche Lorraine, one I grew up watching Julia Child make first on PBS’s The French Chef, is made with just eggs, cream and bacon. I stay almost true to that classic Quiche Lorraine, but add sautéed shallots.
This Quiche Lorraine is a wonderful breakfast, brunch, lunch, heck even a dinner served with a salad meal. It all starts with a delicious egg custard that’s seasoned with nutmeg that gets poured over shallots sautéed with bacon and herbs in a tender, flaky pastry crust. Baked to tender perfection and it’s time to serve!
My thinking is that with Mother’s Day fast approaching this Quiche Lorraine would serve well and if you’re not into making your own pastry dough a frozen, store bought would easily work in a pinch.
How to Make Quiche Lorraine
For those not into making your own pastry crust feel free to purchase a store bought version, but this recipe is a beautifully tender, flaky crust using the butter and lard combination my grandmother used to use on her pies.
The refrigerated dough then gets a quick pre-bake before filling. I use parchment paper and a bag of beans to weight the dough down so the center stays flat. Yes, those are chickpeas, and I keep them in a jar for this baking purpose, though any bean or baking weight swill do.
Do I have to prebake the crust?
When a pie or tart filling is very wet, the crust must be prebaked before it is filled. This technique is called “blind baking,” and it prevents the crust from becoming soggy. Quiche is a perfect example of a tart that requires a prebaked shell because of the custard filling.
I enjoy my subtle add of the shallots cooked in the bacon fat and the pinch of cayenne for a little kick. These can be omitted to stay true to her Quiche Lorraine version, but I like the updated touches myself.
While some like to lighten this Quiche Lorraine recipe up, I highly advise not skimping on using the heavy cream by substituting half an half or even milk, as the consistency and texture of the resulting quiche will be loose. Trust me, I made three different versions to try it out in case I stumbled across a substitute for you. Some things you just don’t mess with!
Cheese lines the pre-baked crust, then the sautéed bacon and shallots, then the egg and cream filling is poured all over. Finish with more cheese and in the oven goes your Quiche Lorraine.
Can I make quiche ahead of time?
This Quiche Lorraine is one of those recipes that is also incredible as a leftover, too, reheated or served cold.
For other tasty breakfast and brunch ideas try my Crustless Spinach Quiche with Ham, Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze, Italian Sausage, Gouda and Spinach Strata or these Breakfast Stuffed Peppers. Enjoy!
Classic Quiche Lorraine
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 5 tbsp chilled butter (cut into pieces)
- 3 tbsp chilled vegetable shortening
- 6 tbsp chilled ice water
- 8 oz bacon (thick-cut cut into half inch pieces)
- 2 shallots (large, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream (room temperature)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 oz Gruyère cheese (finely grated)
- In a food processor add the salt, sugar, and flour and pulse until combined. Add butter and lard and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With motor running, drizzle in ice water and pulse until dough is still slightly crumbly but holds together when pressed (30 seconds).
- On a work surface form dough into a 6 inch disc with your hands. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Place rack in lowest position in oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Unwrap dough and roll dough out on a floured work surface into a 14 inch round. Gently fold pastry into fourths and place in quiche/pie plate. Unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and up sides. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of quiche/pie plate. Fold overhang under, pinching and forming a fluted edge. Chill uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Line dough with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 30 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to bake until crust is set, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack and let cool.
- In a small sauté pan over medium high heat render the bacon for a few minutes and add the shallots, thyme, and bay leaf. Turn heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until bacon and shallots are soft. Let mixture cool, discard bay leaf and drain excess fat (save for other use) and set aside.
- Move rack to middle of oven and preheat to 325°F.
- Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.
- Place quiche/pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle half of cheese evenly on bottom of baked crust. Top with the cooled bacon shallot mixture and pour custard mixture evenly over all. Top with remaining cheese. (See Note 1) Carefully slide into oven and bake until custard edges are set but center slightly jiggles, 40 minutes. The custard will continue to set after baking. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for an hour before slicing. Serve warm or cold.
- To avoid spilling, pull oven rack out, place quiche pan/tray on rack and sprinkle half of cheese evenly on bottom of baked crust. Top with the cooled bacon shallot mixture and pour custard mixture evenly over all. Top with remaining cheese and then follow remaining instructions.