IMAGE © NICOLE FRANZEN

Makes: one 10-inch (25cm) quiche
Serves: 4 to 6

Quiche Lorraine is the most classic of French quiches, and it is ubiquitous in Parisian bakeries and charcuteries. The flaky crust holds a silken custard, rich with the flavour of good eggs and nutmeg, and the savoury, chewy jolts of diced ham and bacon bits – or, really, lardons, short thin strips of pork belly that are a basic punctuation of cooking in the northern half of France. In Paris, you purchase them by weight at the butcher shop and they’ll chop them in front of you as they chat about the neighbour’s cat that ran away. If your local butcher won’t make them, get thick-cut bacon and slice it crosswise into short matchsticks. Quiche Lorraine makes your house smell divine, or at least like my mother’s kitchen, which is the same thing to me. Invite friends over for lunch on a Sunday and offer this, with a great big bowl of sharply dressed greens, and they may ask to move in with you.


Ingredients

  • Tart pastry
  • 5 slices (5 oz/150g) thick-cut bacon, plain or smoked, cut crosswise into short strips
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup (180ml) crème fraîche or full-fat sour cream
  • 1½ cups (360ml) whole milk
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 oz (55g) thick-cut ham, diced
  • Mixed greens, lightly dressed with vinaigrette for serving

Directions

1Make the tart pastry and use it to line a 10-inch (25cm) pie or quiche pan.

2Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

3Top the dough in the pan with a sheet of parchment paper, add pie weights (or dried beans), and bake for 15 minutes.

4Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, fry the bacon strips until just browned, about 10 minutes. Drain. (Keep the rendered fat for another use.)

5In a medium bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Gently stir in the crème fraîche, milk, pepper, and nutmeg; avoid beating too much air into the mixture, or the filling will puff up and then crack once baked.

6Remove the tart shell from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C). Lift the parchment paper carefully and remove the pie weights.

7Scatter the bacon and ham evenly over the tart shell, then slowly pour in the egg mixture without disturbing the bacon and ham. Bake until the filling is golden brown but still a little jiggly in the centre, 50 to 60 minutes.

8Let set for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm, or at room temperature, with a salad.

IMAGE © NICOLE FRANZEN


First printed in our sister publication France Today

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