The Secrets to Classic Quiche Lorraine
With a single-crust pie base, a creamy center made from milk, eggs, onions, and bacon, and the best spices, this classic quiche lorraine is a breakfast crowd-pleaser.
Quiche Lorraine is a classic French dish that features the savory marriage of bacon, eggs, and cheese in an elegant pastry shop. It's a perfect brunch dish that can also be paired with a salad for a lunch or light dinner. Let's get started by making the filling. Peel a medium onion, cut it in half, and thinly slice it. Place 8 slices of bacon in large skillet over medium heat and cook them until they're crisp. Drain the cook bacon on paper towels. Crumble it finely. Set the bacon aside for now. Save 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings and discard the rest of the fat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook them on medium heat, stirring frequently until they're tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. They'll pick up all that bacon flavor left in the pan. Drain the onions and set them aside. Next, crack 4 eggs into a medium bowl. Lightly beat them. Add one cup of half-and-half or light cream, 3/4 of a cup of milk, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a dash of nutmeg. Whisk this together. The ratio of liquid to eggs is crucial to the texture of the Quiche. You need enough eggs to provide a firm enough structure to hold the cut edge, but enough milk or cream to provide a tender custard. Add the bacon, and the drained onions, and stir them into the filling. Place 1-1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese about 6 ounces into a small bowl and add a tablespoon of flour. Toss the flour and cheese together. The flour keeps the cheese from clumping and dropping to the bottom of the Quiche. Add it to the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients well. Now let's make a pastry for a single crust pie. If you've never done it before, it's easier than it sounds. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Measure 1-1/2 cups of flour into a medium bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir the flour and salt together, and add 1/4 cup of cold shortening, and 1/4 cup of cold butter that's been cut into pieces. You can also substitute shortening here, but the butter adds a nice flavor for a flaky crust. Make sure that your shortening and butter are cold. Using a pastry blender or a couple of butter knives, cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are peas sized. Next, you'll need 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of cold water. Add a tablespoon at a time over part of the flour mixture. Toss it with a fork and push the moistened pea straight to the side of the bowl. Continue adding a tablespoon at a time until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough into a ball kneading it gently so that it holds together. Bring the dough together and flattened it slightly with your hands. Using the rolling pin, roll the pastry from the center out to the edges until you form a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Gently wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it into a 9-inch pie plate. Press the dough into the bottom and the edges with your fingers. Use a pair of kitchen shears to trim the pastry to 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pie plate. Fold the excess pastry under and crimp the edge using your thumb and forefingers. For this Quiche recipe, crimp the edges high because the pie is very full. Next, you'll pre-bake the pastry shell so it doesn't become soggy. Gently line the pastry shell with a double layer of heavy duty foil. Bake it in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove the foil from the pie shell and bake it for another 5 to 6 minutes until the pastry is set and lightly browned. Remove the shell from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. It's important that the pie shell is still hot when the filling is added, so don't partially bake the pastry shell before you're set to finish the Quiche. With the partially baked pie crust directly on the oven rack, carefully pour the filling into the shell. Smooth out the filling. Bake the Quiche for 45 to 55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Keep an eye on the crust, if the edge is overbrowning, cover it loosely with a pie shield or some aluminum foil, let the Quiche stand for 10 minutes before coming in to it. Garnish the Quiche with tomato wedges and fresh parsley before serving. The nice thing about Quiche is that it can be enjoyed either warm or at room temperature, so you can make it ahead and let it cool as you're guests arrive. If you need to reheat it, cover the Quiche with foil and bake it at 325 for about 15 minutes.
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