When it comes to classic recipes, which were passed on from generations, one has to be really picky. Coming from the cold and grey-skied – yet rich of heavy culinary specialities – region of Lorraine in the North-East of France, my weak point is without any doubt the internationally known Quiche Lorraine.
This pie-looking treasure has its origins in Lorraine in the 16th century. Its name derives from the word “Kuchen” (which means cake in our old German-like dialect). It thus remains as a solid testament to the historic ties between France and Germany, and reflects on the common roots of Europe’s mix of cultures.
As I am writing these lines, I start craving for a slice of fresh-out-of-the-oven Quiche Lorraine. It reminds me of Sunday evenings at home with my parents, when I would only recognise the smell of frying bacon and immediately rush out of my room for dinner. The ingredients are extremely basic and the recipe incredibly straightforward, but hey, aren’t the simplest things the best EVER? This is the key factor to making the Quiche so successful today in my opinion. It is actually possible to adapt the recipe to every food culture by adding other ingredients (onions, tomatoes, zucchinis, ricotta for the Mediterraneans, or spinach, broccoli, salmon for the Northern Europeans), but also to vegetarian or vegan diets (they even remove the pastry now o.O).
As a student and young professional, I have been traveling and living abroad; my quiche recipe following me among others through Sweden, Germany or The Netherlands (where I have now settled). I immediately noticed how this meal format suits perfectly the way Northern Europeans deal with food. These on-the-run eaters are fond of healthy, yet effortless and handy meals (making it easy to grab a bite while riding their bikes). There you go, isn’t the quiche a perfect deal?
Being – let’s face the truth– a conservative French, I was wrong to think I could cook a traditional Quiche Lorraine abroad without any difficulty. Each country imports daily products according to their food culture, therefore the search for the perfect ingredients can turn into a real struggle. The purpose of this article is to provide illustrated instructions and good tips for cooking a perfect typical Quiche Lorraine wherever you are.
- 1 Small pan
- 1 Round quiche tin, ideally 22/24cm diameter
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1 Cooking whisk
- 1 Fork
- 1 Knife
- 1 pie crust (or fluff pastry), packed or homemade (also referred as crust/dough/pastry in the instructions)
- 250 gr of bacon cubes
- 3 to 4 whole eggs (depending on how deep and big the tin is)
- 50cl liquid crème fraiche (if using heavy cream, I would suggest to add a bit of milk to get a smoother mixture)
- Salt & pepper
Note: There is no cheese or onion in the traditional recipe!
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Cook the bacon cubes in a frying pan until browned and all fat is rejected (it’s always frightening to get a picture of their fat content…).
- In the meantime, unroll the dough and place it in the tin.
Good tip: Do not to remove the baking paper already provided in the package, ensuring the crust won’t stick to the tin once ready (and preventing from having a hard time scratching it off with a sponge 😉 ).
Note: The crust is ideally round shaped, which I have been struggling finding abroad so far… If it is rectangular shaped, then some manual work is required: cut the excess dough from the edges with a knife and stick it on the uncovered edges, trying to recreate the round shape (see image).
- Poke holes all over the base of the dough with the fork (also the edges), so it doesn’t rise too much while in the oven.
Note: Do not forget to take a look at the bacon cubes!
- Pour together in a mixing bowl the eggs, the cream, tiny bit of salt, pepper and nutmeg, and whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and fluffy.
- Once done, cover the bottom of the crust with the bacon cubes and pour the mixture over it.
- Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes (until the top is golden).
It can be served as a starter or main course. In this latter case, the side dish can consist of a soup in winter or a salad in summer.