Quiche Lorraine

My mother's quiche is one of the foods I look forward to most when I go home.  So incredibly easy to make, though, I figured it was about time I got her recipe and started making them myself!  This is another French breakfast, a delightfully fluffy and cheesy egg pie that you can add all sorts of meats, veggies and seasonings to and fix up any way you'd like.  Below is probably the most common, the "Lorraine" which uses swiss cheese, onions and bacon/ham.  Quiche also keeps quite well, so you could bake up a couple one night or weekend and reheat a slice or two in the morning before work!

Oh, and if you think you're one of those "real" men out there that just doesn't eat quiche, just remember: French men eat quiche, and the ladies seem to like them ;)

[Prep: 10-20min/ Bake: 30-45min]

- 2 ready-made frozen pie shells (defrosted)
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups whipping cream or half&half
- 1/2 cup crumbled bacon/bacon bits or cubed ham/chopped up ham slices
- 1 cup shredded, cubed or cut-up slices Swiss cheese
- chopped onion (as desired)
- dash salt, pepper and cayenne pepper/chili powder

1.  If necessary, cook or prepare bacon/ham, cut-up the cheese & chop the onion.
2.  [optional] Place the pastry shells in the oven covered with a piece of aluminium foil and bake at 400F for about 5-10 minutes to help the shell cook.
3.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs, cream and seasonings.
4.  Remove the pie shells from the oven and sprinkle the meat, cheese and onion evenly into the shells.  Pour the egg mixture on top and bake for 30-45 minutes until you can insert a knife in the center and it comes out clean.
5.  Let stand for about 10 minutes and ready to eat!

  • Almost no matter what you do, the upper crust will burn a bit.  It's never really bothered me, but many recipes advise you to wrap aluminium foil around the edge of the crust while the pie is baking to keep it from burning.  A bit more trouble, but may be worth it.
  • There is something just so incredibly fluffy about a restaurant quiche that is hard to replicate at home, but I finally uncovered the secret.  When you beat the eggs, separate the yolks from the whites and beat the whites first.  Whisk or beat the daylights out of them until they get really bubbly and foamy, then whisk/beat in the cream.  Finally gently mix up the yolks and swirl them into the mixture.  Just did this- it works!

Crustless "frittata" version with tomatoes and mushrooms
  • As I said, you can add all sorts of things to your quiche.  Veggies like spinach, mushrooms and spinach are a good place to start.  You can also try swapping out different cheeses for slightly different flavors.
  • From there you can try any assortment of things.  Some popular ones include:
    • crabmeat or other seafood
    • olives, anchovies & tomatoes
    • ground beef & taco seasonings
  • An important potential issue you may have is a lack of ready-made pie crust and a strong desire not to bake your own.  Here are some quick ways to make do without the frozen crust:
    • Go crustless:
      • You can just make it in a pie pan or casserole dish without a crust, but you can also add a bit (like 1/2-3/4 cup) of flour, biscuit mix or some crushed up saltine crackers to the mix to give it some substance.
      • Make mini muffin quiches by just spraying a muffin tin with cooking spray and baking.  (might benefit from some flour/biscuit mix mixed in)
      • Bake it frittata-style by either cooking the mix in an oven-safe skillet in the oven or by cooking it on the stovetop until it's heated through.  They say to cook it on the stovetop, just periodically lift the egg away from the edges and let the uncooked egg flow down, but I tried this yesterday without much luck.  It will cook through this way, but it takes a lot of attention, and just didn't taste very quiche-like to me in the end.
      • I read a crazy recipe that claims you can make a quiche/frittata in the microwave by using a 2qt microwave-safe dish and running it on 70% power, stirring every 2 minutes until the egg is set (about 6-10 minutes total).  
    • Substitue a quick crust:
      • Layer the bottom of a casserole dish with refrigerated crescent dough before adding the filling on top.
      • Flatten and layer plain bread slices across the bottom of a casserole dish (and maybe coat with a little melted butter).  Or flatten the slices of bread, cut into half or fourths and shove into a muffin tin to make mini quiches.
      • If you feel like almost-baking, crush up 1 cup's worth of saltine crackers, add about 1/4 cup of melted butter/margarine and a splash of water.  Mix and then press into the bottom of a casserole dish or pie pan.

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