Ask anyone and they will have an opinion on quiche. From “real men don’t eat quiche” to “how can anything with cheese and bacon be bad?” If you hate it, you probably haven’t had GOOD quiche. By popular demand, this is the recipe that usually graces our Christmas Eve brunch table…and any time my kids come home since they love it. No matter how many I make it never lasts more than a few hours so I have no idea how long it keeps - it usually disappears before the leftovers get put away..
This is the quiche recipe that will ruin you for all other quiche…quiches…whatever…all the others will be rubbery or curdled compared to this creamy smooth, heavenly concoction! This recipe is from my The Best Recipe cookbook, which is the cookbook I turn to most often for basic recipes. The cookbook is from the original America’s Test Kitchen where they have taken a scientific approach and tried all the variables to arrive at the best version, and while they are usually right, with this, they have knocked it out of the park!
The same cookbook also has a crust recipe, which is excellent and I have used it numerous times, but then I discovered vodka crust and have never looked back! The addition of vodka creates a dough SO easy to work with it’s like using play-doh, and produces a wonderfully flaky, perfect no-fail crust.
The secret to the creaminess of this Quiche Lorraine is heavy cream and egg yolks, and, it has, of course, bacon. I have made other variations with different cheeses and vegetables, but our all time favorite is still this classic Quiche Lorraine…I mean…bacon. there is no substitute. Right?
Fun fact: The classic French Quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, which was under German rule. (Renamed Lorraine when it came under French control - hence, Quiche Lorraine). The word 'quiche' is derived from the German word for cake, 'kuchen.'
Okay, on to the recipes:
Vodka Crust Recipe
from Cooks Illustrated, November 2007
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp table salt
2 Tbsp sugar
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup shortening, chilled
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup cold vodka
The best part about this crust is it can be made in the food processor! Place all the dry ingredients except 1 cup of the flour into the bowl of the processor and whirl briefly to mix. Add cold butter and shortening cut into pieces. I use this slicer to cut it directly into the bowl with the flour mixture and use my fingers to get the pieces coated with the flour a bit so they distribute evenly. Pulse the processor in bursts until the mixture resembles cottage cheese curds, add the remaining cup of flour and process in short bursts until it resembles coarse meal. At this point the recipe recommends turning the mixture into a bowl and sprinkling with the liquids and mixing with a spatula, but I’m a lazy cook…discerning, but lazy! So I add the liquid to the food processor and mix it that way…very, very carefully using short bursts just until the dough comes together. If you overwork pie dough it will be tough and chewy, and we are after tender and flaky so resist the urge to over-process. This makes enough dough for 2 crusts (Yay for efficiency!) so I separate it into 2 balls. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into disks, and chill in the fridge for one hour or up to 2 days.
NOTE: If you don’t need both crusts, the second disk can be frozen and defrosted to use later OR it can be frozen after it is rolled and installed in a pie plate for later.
The rest of these instructions are for a partially baked crust and are from The Best Recipe cookbook.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out into a circle on a lightly floured surface (This is my favorite pastry mat). Transfer the dough to a 9” pie plate and flute the edges, or a quiche dish and trim the edges…a quiche dish makes a prettier serving presentation if the quiche is going on the table. Place the dish in the fridge to chill for 40 minutes, then in the freezer for 20 minutes…I have no idea why - I usually skip the fridge part and just chill it in the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 375’. Line the pie crust with a double layer of heavy aluminum foil (large enough to cover the edges as well)). Add 1 cup of pie weights, distributed evenly, or if you have a jar of pennies or loose change, that will work too! Bake for about 17 minutes until the dough has dried out. Carefully remove weights and foil, then continue baking another 9 minutes for a partially baked crust.
NOTE: the filling is added to the hot crust so get your ingredients ready ahead of time!
Quiche Lorraine from The Best Recipe Cookbook
makes one 9” quiche
1 pie crust (recipe above - or I suppose you CAN buy one if you are short on time)
8 oz bacon (about 8 slices), cooked until crispy (I use the microwave), and crumbled
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
pinch grated nutmeg
4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
Partially bake pie crust as directed above in 375’ oven. Whisk all ingredients together except the bacon and the cheese. As soon as the partially baked crust comes out of the oven, sprinkle the cheese and bacon over the bottom of the crust, place it on the oven rack and carefully pour the custard mixture over it filling to a bit below the rim. CAREFULLY slide the rack into place because egg burning on the bottom of the oven smells horrid (ask me how I know this!). Bake 32-35 minutes. A knife inserted about an inch from the edge should come out clean and the center should be set but still jiggly - it will finish cooking from the residual heat as it cools and retain its wonderful creamy texture. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly - this is an important step that allows the air to circulate under it to keep the bottom from getting soggy.
DO NOT tell my son you are making this as he may show up on your doorstep and devour the whole thing!
Favorite cooking tools used in this recipe:
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