Quiche Lorraine originated from the German “kuchen” meaning cake, and it’s the grandmother of all savoury pies. Quiche Lorraine originated in Lorraine in the north east of France where it’s been made since at least the 17th century, and is said to have been baked by the chef at the court of Stanislas, the former King of Poland, who lived in Lorraine. It was made with easy to get local ingredients, eggs, cream and bacon. In a real Lorraine quiche there is no cheese. If it has cheese in it, it’s sometimes called a quiche Vosges, and if you include onions too – it’s a quiche Alsatian.
For a quiche to be perfect, it needs to be “chevelotte” – the filling needs to be quivering! And we like it with no soggy bottom so this recipe goes for a slightly crispy base.
For this dish we’ve included cheese because it’s the most popular way to cook it in France these days! It’s traditionally served with a green salad.
Ingredients for 8 slices of delicious quiche lorraine
Packet of shortcrust pastry
200g bacon lardons (smoked or unsmoked)
50g Gruyère cheese
200ml crème fraiche
200ml double cream
3 eggs, well beaten
Pinch ground nutmeg
Roll the pastry out and line a loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin (23cm/9 inch) with it.
Press the pastry into the flutes leaving a rim to hold the filling. Lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes in the fridge.
Line the pastry case base with baking paper dried beans and bake for 15 mins at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. The pastry should be pale golden coloured and crisp (no soggy bottom).
Cook the lardons for a couple of minutes until ust starting to colour, but you don’t want them crispy. Place on paper towel to get rid of excess fat.
Grate the Gruyère cheese and spread most of it over the cooked pastry base with the fried lardons – keep a tablespoon of cheese to one side.
Beat the crème fraiche then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the 3 already well-beaten eggs. Season slightly and add a pinch of ground nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the cheese and lardons. Scatter the remaining grated cheese over the top and place in the oven on a baking tray.
Lower the oven temperature to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top and set softly, it shouldn’t be too firm but “quivering”.
Let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes and then remove.
You can serve warm or when it’s cold.