This classic quiche has some delightful characteristics that are often forgotten in modern recipes; namely very thin pastry, a creamy, light filling and smoked bacon. Perfect for brunch, parties or family suppers, this tasty quiche celebrates a timeless combination of cheese and bacon, accompanied by a salad and fresh fruit.
It it said that the Quiche Lorraine was discovered by a baker in Nancy, France in the 16th century. Initially it was prepared with ordinary bread dough and was later refined when short crust (plain) pastry was used for the base. The main ingredient is smoked bacon, one of the province's specialties. Traditionally a cake tin with a 7-inch diameter is lined with pastry and the filling is then poured into the lining. It is made of a mixture of cream and eggs, to which small cubes of smoked bacon, are added.
When Quiche Lorraine became popular throughout France, grated cheese which originally was not used, somehow tricked its way into the recipe. The original recipe depended solely on the quality of three basic Lorraine products: butter, eggs, and smoked bacon. The bacon owes its quality to hundreds of years of experience.
Makes 6 4-inch quiches
For the whole wheat pastry:
- 1 1⁄4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. ice water
For the filling:
- 5-6 smoked turkey bacon slices, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 1⁄2 cup grated Gruyère cheese or other cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
To make the pastry, place the flour, salt, in the bowl of a food processor, process until blended. Scatter the butter over the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles pea-size crumbs. While pulsing, add the ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Tip out on to a lightly floured surface and bring the mixture together into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and leave to rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 6 portions and form into balls. Roll out each into a 6-inch round. Press 1 round into a 4-inch quiche pan and fold in the overhang. Press to make the sides thicker than the bottom. If the pastry breaks, gently push it together again. Repeat with the remaining dough. Using a fork, prick the dough in several places. Freeze the shells for 15 minutes.
Line the pastry shells with foil and baking beans and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and continue baking until the shells are just golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Reduce the heat to 375ºF.
Arrange the chopped turkey bacon in the pastry shells. Beat together the cream, the eggs, cheese and seasonings; pour into the pastry shells.Bake until the filling is set and puffed and the crust is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the filling to settle and cool a little before serving, making it easier to cut the quiche.