A timeless, elegant classic; quiche is never not a good idea. A staple in French bakeries, a good quiche should have a buttery short-crust, silky smooth custard center and a handful of well chosen ingredients for salty, savory satisfaction.
The name ‘quiche’ actually comes from the German word, Kuchen (meaning cake). At its heart, it’s simply an egg pie, but ‘egg pie’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it! Many are surprised to learn that quiche originated in medieval Germany, in the town of ‘Lothringen’, which was later occupied by France and named ‘Lorraine’.
It makes a perfect brunch or lunch dish, or an entrée for a dinner party. It also stacks up well as a simple but luxe-feeling family dinner, and is a favorite among kids and adults alike. Mini quiches make an elegant, two-bite hors d’oeuvre, so consider whipping up a batch to impress at your next get together.
What’s great about quiche is just how versatile it can be. Not only does it suit every time of day, it can be adapted to many dietary requirements. Whether you’re vegetarian, pescatarian or meat-loving, there’s a quiche recipe for you.
How to make quiche?
A perfect quiche consists of two well-made components - the pie crust and the custard filling. A soggy or crumbly crust can make eating messy, and a too dense or too wet filling will also miss the mark. So you want to get them right! Here’s how…
How to make short-crust pastry?
Home-made pie crust is a truly beautiful thing, and easier than you may think. If you have the extra 45 or so minutes, I’d highly encourage you to make the effort. Otherwise, a store-bought crust is always great in a pinch - no judgment here!
To make your own short-crust pastry, you will need a simple combination of cold butter, flour, water and an egg. Recipes will vary slightly, but all should require just a handful of pantry staples, and a standing mixer or a pair of strong hands. (Yes, you can make your dough by hand, just be prepared to knead fast to prevent the ingredients from getting too warm).
It’s also important to let your dough chill in the fridge for at least 15-30 minutes before rolling it out to ensure the fats resolidify and the glutens relax. Another step you don’t want to skip is blind-baking your dough. Once rolled out and pressed into your quiche mold, cover with baking paper and fill your dough with pie weights (or dried beans) and bake for 20 or so minutes to avoid a soggy bottom.
How to make quiche filling?
For perfectly smooth custard, some recipes call for a combination of eggs, whole milk and cream, while others favor the richness of eggs and cream alone. Crème fraîche delivers a slight tangy flavor in this spring vegetable quiche, while heavy or whipping cream keeps things neutral for a more classic, light flavor profile in this mini quiche lorraine recipe.
Once you have your egg custard sorted, pick a handful of ingredients for your filling. Alliums like leek and shallot add sweetness and a little bite, while bacon, shellfish or mushrooms add a delicious richness, such as in this mushroom and cranberry tart variation, or this sauerkraut, apple and bacon quiche. It’s best to fry off alliums, mushrooms and bacon before adding to your pie, while shellfish and other vegetables can be added to your pie and baked from their raw state. Spinach and peas can also be added for extra color, flavor and nutrients. A smattering of grated cheese atop adds salty satisfaction - cheddar or goat’s cheese are both great additions.
How to bake a quiche?
Once your pie crust has been blind baked and your toppings have been fried off (if needed), it’s time to assemble and bake your quiche. Simply scatter about your add-ins evenly across the base, then pour over your egg and cream mixture. If you’re using it, a final smattering of cheese on top seals the deal. Follow your recipe for cook times, but it will usually take around 40 minutes in a 180-200 degree oven for the dough to cook through and the custard to set.
Quiche Lorraine (bacon quiche)
For many, it’s the perfect quiche. Chewy smoked bacon with silky just-set egg custard is held together in the crusty pastry. The origins of quiche ‘Lorraine’ are rustic and humble. It was a hearty dish prepared by farmers using readily available ingredients such as eggs, bacon, dairy and dough. The salty, umami-rich bacon pieces are what make this dish sing. We love Lorraine as a mini quiche, perfect for your next event, but equally at home in a school lunchbox.
There’s beauty in the simplicity of this classic, but there’s also plenty of room for experimentation. Using the eggs, milk, cream and bacon as a base, you might add in other toppings, such as in this Leek and apple quiche with bacon, which is topped with hazelnuts.