Quiche is a savory pie that originated in northeastern France in the Alsace-Lorraine region. The most famous version is Quiche Lorraine, made with a custard filling of eggs, cream, cheese, bacon, and seasonings. Other versions of quiche might include ingredients such as onions, mushrooms, ham, and crab. Some imaginative recipe developers have created ethnic variations on the pie with Italian, Mexican, and Mediterranean variations. Quiche is served most commonly as a brunch entree because it retains heat well and holds up nicely on a buffet table. Bite-size quiches are also popular for entertaining and can even be made ahead of time. Many people enjoy quiche as a light dinner entree or a lunch, especially when served with a side salad. The key to great quiche is a flaky crust and a creamy custard filling that holds a cut edge.
Following are step-by-step instructions for a classic Quiche Lorraine.
With quiche, you always have options. You can prepare a crust from scratch (see Pastry for Single-Crust Pie) or use a refrigerated unbaked piecrust.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Prepare and roll out the Pastry for Single-Crust Pie or unroll one refrigerated piecrust according to package directions. Line a 9-inch pie plate (glass or metal) with pastry. Do not prick the piecrust. Line the pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil.
- Bake for 8 minutes. This will help keep the crust crisper when you add the filling. Remove the foil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more or until pastry is golden. Remove from the oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. The pie shell should still be hot when the filling is added. Do not partially bake the pastry shell ahead of time.
While the pastry shell is baking, prepare the filling.
- In a large skillet cook 8 slices of bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Finely crumble the bacon and set aside. Cook 1/2 cup chopped onion in the reserved drippings over medium heat until tender, but not brown; drain. The bacon and onion can be cooked up to 24 hours ahead, covered, and chilled until needed.
- In an 8-cup glass measuring cup or a medium bowl, lightly beat 5 eggs. Stir in 1-1/4 cups half-and-half or light cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a dash of ground nutmeg. Stir in the crumbled bacon and cooked onions.
- Toss together 1-1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Add to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Pour the filling into the hot baked pastry shell. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If the pastry edge is getting brown before the filling is done, cut out a circle of foil just large enough to cover the pastry edge and place atop the pastry edge to prevent overbrowning.
- Transfer the quiche to a wire rack. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. This helps the custard filling to firm up and hold a cut edge.
- To serve, cut into 6 wedges.
- Swap out the bacon for cooked, crumbled sausage; chopped ham or chicken; crab; or small shrimp. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter to cook the onion instead of the bacon drippings.
- In place of Swiss cheese, use cheddar, Havarti, Gruyere or Monterey Jack.
- Stir 1/4 cup chopped green onions, artichoke hearts, or roasted red pepper into the filling before pouring into the pastry shell.
How to Simplify Making Quiche
When every minute counts, try one of these shortcuts for making these company-special quiches. Rest assured -- there won't be any shortage of compliments:
- Make Ahead & Freeze. You can make Herb & Cheese Mini Quiches up to 3 months in advance and freeze. Simply thaw and reheat.
- Prep the Pastry Dough. Using the Mediterranean Artichoke Quiches recipe, you can prep and refrigerate the dough up to 3 days in advance of your event.
- Go Crustless. Skip the crust altogether in Crustless Carrot Quiches.