Wednesday, May 13, 2015
QUICHE LORRAINE IS NAMED FOR the Lorraine region of France. I am not an expert on France, French cooking, and especially the French language. From growing up in the south, I learned that trying to speak French words with a southern accent just does not work. But I can pronounce Quiche Lorraine. And so could the B-52's. In fact their song about a French poodle named Quiche Lorraine jumped into my head while I was making this.
Variations on the recipe are many, of course. I used what I had on hand including fresh chives which are growing abundantly in our border garden.
I made Pastry Brisee for the crust, a very buttery, crumbly crust, which was practically shortbread. It was perfect with this savory, cheesy pie. I usually rely on the convenience of those rolled up pre-made crusts in the red box but I didn't have any. I weighed my options and decided it would be easier to make pastry than drive to the store to buy it.
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup butter (10 Tbsp. + 2 tsp)
Whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in or rub in butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Work into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
The pastry is too crumbly for rolling out, so press it into a buttered pie plate with your fingers until you have a smooth crust of even thickness. Finish edges as desired. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
1 pie crust
5 slices bacon
8 oz. Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1 cup creme fraiche
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, thinly sliced
small grating of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare pastry brisee as above or if using a pre-made crust, prick it with a fork and bake for 5 minutes only at 450 degrees.
Cut bacon into 1-inch pieces and cook in a small skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
Cut cheese into small cubes.
In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs until well blended. Add the creme fraiche and milk and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chives, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
Place cheese cubes in bottom of partially baked crust. Sprinkle bacon over the cheese and then pour the egg mixture over all. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake about another 10 to 15 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.