I love making Quiche.
I love the fact that it is so easy and soooo yummy and when you have run out of ideas what to cook a Quiche can easily become a full meal. Just add some fresh bread or baked potatoes and a big green salad! And most people love it!
Quiche apparently originated in Germany (kuchen means cake) but it is known as a classic French dish and today regarded as typically French. But even the English used savoury custards in pastry as early as the 14th century! So it seems many nations enjoy this and it can’t really be ‘claimed’ by anyone.
And indeed when you bake a Quiche it is very easy to create your own with a filling of your own choice or whatever it is that puts your stamp on it!
Quiche Lorraine is probably the most popular variant of the Quiche. I think the French indeed call it Lorraine. And apparently cheese wasn’t one of the initial ingredients, it was only added later. I really like to use Gruyère cheese because of its distinctive taste, but that is very personal.
Interestingly in France the Lorraine version is different to the one served in the United States. The bacon is cubed, (in the States it is sliced), no onions are added and the custard base is thicker. Well, I think it is whatever you are used to and your personal liking. It is also nice to make something different!
So the making of a Quiche usually has three parts – crust, filling and your savoury custard. This is my version:
I usually make a short crust for the pastry. When making this crust everything should be as cold as possible. In Ireland this is usually not such a big problem, but in warmer countries it might be… Also don’t overwork the pastry. You want it light and crispy. Sometimes I add a bit of mustard powder or some dried herbs in the dough just to give it a rustic flavour. You could also add some grated cheese to the dough to make the crust cheesy.
200 g (335 ml) flour
Pinch of salt
100 g (100 ml) butter
45-60 ml ice water
Work the butter through the flour and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor doing this, I just use my fingers. Then add the water little by little until the dough just starts to come together.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few seconds until it is smooth.
Put some cling wrap around it and let it rest in the fridge for between 30 and 60 minutes.
Line a Quiche tin (flan tin – about 22cm) with the pastry and first bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes at 180C (gas mark 5/6) with baking beans or dried beans in it. If you don’t prebake the crust it becomes soggy. Mark my words, I have tried both ways!!
Then the filling. I use bacon cut into pieces as well as some spring onions cut into slices which I fry together for a few minutes.
For the custard:
125 ml cream
125 ml milk
2 ml salt
Pinch of red pepper
Pinch of mustard powder
Mix the above ingredients all together.
Put the bacon-filling in the crust and pour the custard over it. Grate some cheese (cheddar or Gruyère) on top and bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese has coloured nicely and the custard is softly set, it mustn’t be too firm.
Let it cool a bit before you cut it, although it is also lovely to eat when it is cold, if there is anything left…