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Quiche Lorraine is a savory egg custard pie with bacon, caramelized onions, and Gruyère Swiss cheese. Absolutely delicious!

Quiche Lorraine

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The most recognizable of quiche recipes is Quiche Lorraine, a French version that became very popular in the United States in the 1950’s.

Back then, this dish was considered a bit of an indulgence – a homemade, buttery pastry crust, filled with bacon and cheese. It was synonymous with the ‘ladies who lunch’ crowd, and something special to order at a restaurant.

In the decades that followed, quiche become much more mainstream – even to the point of over-saturation – as many restaurants had it on the menu. It also inspired a 1980’s book of satire  titled, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.”  Thanks to that book, quiche actually fell out of popularity for a time!

Quiche Lorraine

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What is Quiche Lorraine?

Quiche Lorraine is a tart with a savory crust that is filled with a rice and creamy egg custard studded with bacon, caramelized onions, and Gruyère Swiss cheese.

It is believed to have originated in the German kingdom of Lothringen, where it was called Lothringer speckkuchen – speck being a cured meat and kuchen meaning cake in German. When France gained control of Lothringen in the 17th century, the town’s name was changed to Lorraine – and the tart became knows as Quiche Lorraine.

Why you’ll love Quiche Lorraine

  • Each bite is creamy, delicious and full of flavor.
  • It’s impressive enough for a special brunch, but easy enough to make for a weekday lunch or dinner.

Quiche Lorraine

Key ingredients and Substitutions

  • Pie crust – We prefer using our Perfect Pie Crust recipe because it’s flaky, buttery, and delicious. You can use a pre-made pie crust for convenience, but the flavor and texture won’t be quite the same.
  • Bacon – Choose thick-cut bacon so you’ll have distinctive bacon bits throughout the filling.
  • Gruyère Swiss – This is a strong, very flavorful Swiss cheese, and it’s essential to achieving the true Quiche Lorraine results. Don’t be tempted to swap in other Swiss cheese varieties – look specifically for the word Gruyère on the package.
  • Onions – We chose sweet onions, such as Vidalia, to balance and compliment the stronger flavors of the bacon and Swiss cheese. A regular yellow onion will also work.
  • Romano Cheese – Admittedly, it is not traditional to add Romano cheese to a Quiche Lorraine recipe, but it adds a slightly nutty taste to the custard. You could add Parmesan instead, or omit this cheese altogether.
  • Custard Ingredients – You’ll need eggs, light cream, and seasonings including salt, pepper, nutmeg and a pinch of cayenne. You can use whole milk instead, but the creaminess of the quiche won’t be the same. Heavy cream is another option – but we think the milk fats overwhelm the rest of the flavors, so we recommend light cream. Although the original recipe contained rice, modern versions of this quiche do not, including ours.

Special supplies needed

 Chef’s Tip –

The best quiche has a perfect proportion of egg and cheese and cream. This quiche recipe is based on a recipe we found in the Joy of Cooking cookbook. It is our go-to, quiche base recipe and tastes great even with other fillings.

Quiche Lorraine

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How do I make Quiche Lorraine?

  1. Prepare the crust using our recipe here. Roll out and place into a 9” pie plate, crimping the edges. Follow the step in How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust, using pie weights to keep the shape of the crust before it is filled.
  2. Fry the bacon to crisp, reserve one teaspoon of bacon fat to cook the onions. Coarsely chop the bacon.
  3. Cut and caramelize the onions in the reserved bacon fat.
  4. Shred the Gruyère Swiss and grate the Romano cheese
  5. Beat the eggs with the light cream and whisk in salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
  6. Spread the cheese and bacon mixture evenly into the pre-baked crust.
  7. Pour in the egg mixture, then add the pie crust shield around edge.
  8. Bake in the oven according to recipe instructions below. You will start out at a higher oven temperature, then lower the temp to finish baking the quiche through.

 Chef’s Tip –

To avoid over browning, use a pie crust shield through the entire baking time, and a foil cover during the last few minutes of baking. This will yield a perfectly-cooked custard with a slightly browned top and a golden crust.

Quiche Lorraine

Frequently asked Questions

What do I serve with Quiche Lorraine? A mixed greens salad with our Favorite Vinaigrette is a good choice, or a Fruit Salad. In cooler months, soup would be a good choice as well.

Do I serve Quiche Lorraine hot or cold? While we both like cold quiche, typically we serve our quiche slightly warm out of the oven so that the cheesy custard is still soft, but firm enough to slice. (Wait about ten minutes or so after the quiche comes out of the oven so it sets up for clean slicing.)

Can I make quiche ahead of time? The pie dough can be made ahead of time and chilled until you are ready to assemble your quiche. You can also cook the bacon, and shred the cheese. We suggest assembling the quiche ingredients (per the recipe below) right before baking.

Can I freeze a quiche? You can, after it is baked, but sometimes the crust gets soggy and the custard weeps after thawing. Freshly baked is best for this dish.

You may enjoy these other egg-based quiche and tart recipes:

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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 slices
  • Category: entree, pie
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Pie crust for a 9” pie plate, see a great homemade crust recipe here

6 slices thick-cut bacon

1 cup sweet onion, diced

1 cup Gruyere Swiss cheese, shredded

¼ cup Romano cheese, grated

4 large whole eggs

1 ¾ cup light cream

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Few grinds fresh nutmeg

Pinch cayenne pepper


Instructions

Prepare the pie dough, see recipe here.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Press a sheet of foil into a 9” pie plate to get the impression of the pie plate. Remove and set the foil aside.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface and place into the pie plate. Form it up the sides and over the edge and cut excess leaving one inch hanging over the edge.

Fold the hanging dough up and under itself all the way around. Use your thumb and forefinger of your left hand and the knuckle of your forefinger on your right hand and pinch all the way around to make a fluted edge.

Place the formed foil into the pie dough and press to the bottom and up the sides. Fill with pie weights or dried beans and “blind bake” (click here for more information on blind baking) for 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and lift the foil and pie weights out. Save the foil for later in this recipe.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.

Cook the bacon in a saute pan until crisp and remove to paper towels. Reserve one teaspoon of fat and discard the rest. Coarsely chop the crisp bacon.

Wipe the pan clean and over medium heat, add the teaspoon of bacon fat and the cup of onion and saute for three minutes, just to give it a head start. Remove from heat to cool.

In a bowl, toss the shredded Swiss, grated Romano, cooked chopped bacon and the cooled sautéed onions.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the cream along with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.

Place the cheese and bacon mixture into the pre-baked crust and evenly spread but do not pack down. Keep the filling loose.

Pour in the egg mixture then add a pie crust shield to the pie crust edge, see here.

Place in the oven, directly on the oven rack and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower heat to 350 degrees F without opening the oven door and continue baking for 20 minutes.

At this point, depending on how quickly the top is browning, you may or may not need to add a sheet of foil over the top to stop from getting too browned. This will depend on your oven. We did for the last five minutes.

Continue baking for another 5-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

The quiche should be lightly browned, with the edge crust slightly golden. The filling should be a little puffy but somewhat firm. As it rests, it will settle down a bit.

Wait ten minutes before slicing into six wedges.


Notes

Heavy cream is traditional in Quiche Lorraine, however, we seem to have better luck with light cream in our quiche recipes. They bake up lighter and the filling ingredients really shine through instead of getting masked by the milk fat.

Also, we gave the pre-made pie crusts a try for this recipe and they just aren’t substantial enough. We suspect the dough circles have been downsized (like everything else) and are just too thin with not much left for a nice crimped edge, even for a 9” pie plate. So, we strongly suggest using our homemade pie crust – see here.

Keywords: quiche lorraine

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Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

Quiche Lorraine

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    Comments

  • Linda Jones wrote:

    Thank you Martha for getting back to me about the light cream issue. Our area in Kentucky is very small and groceries only seem to get what is mostly used by their patrons. It did help to understand the difference so I’ll probably just stick to heavy cream until I run into the lighter version.
    Thanks again, Linda

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re welcome Linda – you could also “water” the heavy cream down with milk to achieve something similar.

  • Linda Jones wrote:

    Martha, was wondering what you use for the light cream you speak of in this recipe? All I can find in the area where I shop is heavy whipping cream and half and half. Is half and half what you suggest?
    Thanks Linda

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – I’m not sure where you are located (our local supermarkets all sell light cream) but you can use half and half instead if you are unable to find light cream. (Half and half is actually half light cream and half milk.) Light cream on it’s own is ‘fattier’ than the half and half, but a lower fat than heavy cream. Hope that helps!

  • JOYCE wrote:

    This is an excellent recipe. Simple and tastes divine.
    One thing I do, that’s a trick from a professional pastry chef, is I line my pie plates (for blind baking) with one of those super large coffee filters – the ones used for commercial coffee urns. They’re strong, extremely flexible, and stick to NOTHING. They pull away from the partially bake pie dough like they were made for it. This has saved me a lot of frustration.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great suggestion Joyce! Thank you!

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