Q is for Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine is known as a French dish. It gets its name from the French territory of Lorraine, lying between France and Germany. However, according to historical records, the dish originated in the medieval times in the German kingdom of Lothringen. And it is exactly this region that the French acquired and changed the name to Lorraine! In fact, the territory of Alsace-Lorraine has changed ownership between Germany and France many times, all through history. The last change took place after world war 2, when France got it from Germany.
The name quiche is originated from the German word ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake or tart.
Coming back to the quiche, the earlier versions of quiche Lorraine consisted of an egg and cream filling cooked in a pie crust. Later bacon, and cheese and other ingredients were added to the filling. And there is even a finer distinction that if onions are added, it is a quiche Alsacienne, and not a quiche Lorraine!
Originally the crust was made of bread dough but a regular pie crust is used now.
Quiches became popular in the US and UK in the 1950s. The concept of a is versatility itself. A blind baked shell into which you can add any filling, topped with an egg and cream custard and baked! The fillings can be whatever you can imagine… sausage meat and mushrooms, spinach and onions, crab and tomatoes, artichoke and feta… the possible combinations are endless.
Quiche Lorraine is one of the easiest to make. It can be spiced up with the addition of tabasco or any other hot sauce.
Q is for Quiche Lorraine
For the pastry shell
For the quiche
- Place the flour in a large bowl. Add a quarter teaspoon salt to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Cut the chilled butter into thin slices and add to the flour.
- Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour till the butter is reduced to pea sized pieces.
- Add the egg yolk into the flour-butter mix and blend.
- Add the iced water to the flour one spoon at a time and mix with a long fork, gently and quickly. When the flour starts to stick together, gather up all the flour into a ball of dough and gently smoothen the surface.
- Cover the dough with cling wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Press the chilled dough to form a disc. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to form a 11 inch circle.
- Place the dough in a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Fold the edges under and flute the edges.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the pastry in the pie pan and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Remove the pastry shell from the oven and let cool.
- Fry the bacon in a pan on low heat, turning often. (It can also be prepared in the oven.) Set aside and crumple when cold.
- In a clean pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. (The bacon fat can also be used, if you prefer.)
- Add the sliced onions and fry till transparent and the edges start to brown, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Add the fried onions, crumpled bacon and both cheeses to the pastry shell.
- Thoroughly mix together the eggs, heavy cream, nutmeg and tabasco sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour over the onion-bacon-cheese mix in the pastry shell.
- Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The center should be a bit jiggly as it will continue to cook.
- Place the quiche on a cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.