There are so many Quiche Lorraine recipes floating around, at first I thought, “Why bother doing another one?” But then I realised that Quiche Lorraine is a French dish, so let’s get down and reveal those basic French techniques that make this recipe such a classic!
To make the pastry crust for a quiche, it’s easy to just pop the flour and butter in a food processor, pulse for a few seconds, add the egg and water and let the machine turn out a ‘perfect dough’ for you. But here are a few techniques I leaned at the Cordon Bleu School in Paris that will help you to make an authentic Quiche Lorraine. In the words of Julia Child, “A good French pastry crust should be tender, crunchy and buttery.”
To make a good French pastry dough, your hands, fingers and arm become active, first rubbing the butter and flour together with your palms, then ‘kneading’ the dough using the heel of your hand, ending with a perfect ball of dough. Almost feels like a gym workout after you’ve finished!
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Method for Making the Dough for the Quiche Lorraine
Recipe adapted from Le Cordon Bleu school
- 100 g cold butter, cubed
- 200 g flour
- pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 2 – 3 tbsp. cold water
Step 1 – Sabler the butter and flour together
Cut the cold butter into cubes and then add to the flour in a large bowl. Rub the butter and flour together briskly between the palms of your hands and tips of your fingers until it becomes like sand. Since sable is the word for ‘sand’ in French, this technique is called sabler.
The end result: your dough should resemble fine sand.
Step 2 – Make a well in the middle of the dough and add 1 egg.
Step 3 – Mix the ingredients and transfer to your work surface
Mix the egg into the flour/butter mixture, then add 2 – 3 tbsp. cold water. The dough should be moist and be able to hold together its shape. Transfer the rough dough mixture onto a floured surface and gather into a mound shape, using the aid of a pastry scraper.
Step 4– Fraiser the dough on the work surface.
Using the heel of your hand, push one portion of the dough along the work surface with an outward movement. Regather the dough using the aid of the pastry scraper. Repeat several times until the dough comes together into a firm ball. This technique is called fraiser la pâte or le fraisage (the final blending of flour and butter).
Repeat several times until you form a firm dough ball.
Next steps: roll out the dough on a floured surface, turning the dough 1/4 turns as you go. Roll the dough so that it overhangs 2 cm over the edge of the quiche tin.
Next, pass a rolling pin across the top of the quiche mould so that it cuts through the dough and then lift the excess dough away from the mold. Prick the dough with the ends of a fork, add parchment paper and pie weights to the quiche tin, then blind bake for 15 minutes (see instructions for my post on White Chocolate Tart with Cherries in Red Wine Sauce).
You’re now ready to add the quiche filling to complete your delicious authentic Quiche Lorraine!
- Shortcrust Pastry
- 200 g flour
- 100 g cold butter
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp cold water (more, if required)
- 180 g smoked speck bacon, cut into cubes
- 100 g Gruyère cheese, grated
- 3 eggs
- 125 ml thickened cream
- 125 ml whole milk
- Salt, pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
- In a large bowl, add 200 grams of flour. Cut 100 grams of cold butter into small cubes then add to flour mixture. Rub the butter and flour between the palms of your hands until it becomes like sand.
- Make a well in centre of the flour mixture- add the egg into well and stir; add the cold water a little at a time.
- Form the dough into a ball and then push the dough out away from you on the countertop, using the palm of your hand (le fraisage). Cover the dough with plastic and place in fridge for 15 – 30 minutes.
- Roll-out the dough making occasional quarter turns- leave 2 cm margin larger than the quiche mould.
- Drape the dough over the mould leaving the 2 cm margin- gently push the dough down to fit the shape of the mould. Prick bottom of crust with a fork.
- To blind bake the dough:
- Place parchment paper inside of mould and fill with pie weights or raw rice. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and let dough cool.
- Remove rind and cartilage from the bacon slab- cut into small cubes . Slightly brown the bacon bits with a little butter, over medium high heat and then drain on kitchen paper.
- Grate the Gruyère cheese and place it on bottom of baked quiche dough, then add the bacon bits.
- Prepare the filling: beat 3 eggs together, then add the cream, milk, salt and pepper to the mixture. Add this to the cooked quiche dough then top with a little more of the grated cheese.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes – quiche should be light brown ‘biscuit colour.’
- Let the quiche cool then remove the bottom from the quiche tin.
- Place chopped parsley garnish on top of quiche and several small pieces of bacon- this will also serve to identify the type of quiche you have just made.