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Quiche Lorraine! A classic French tart filled with a delicious savory custard.
What is Quiche Lorraine?
Classic Quiche Lorraine is a simple tart with a flaky pastry crust, and a rich custard filling, jammed with smoky bacon and creamy cheese. Savory tarts, in various forms, have been around for centuries.
Quiche Lorraine was named for a region in France and became popular in the United States in the 1950’s. No doubt this French classic started the American love affair with all things quiche.
Back in the day this easy tart was thought of as a ladies lunch or brunch item. Frozen mini cheese quiche appetizers became a party favorite, and still are today. This savory treat is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It rewarms beautifully and has a robust flavor.
It’s hard to find on restaurant menus these days, so we make our own at home. Boy what a treat! This is one great recipe you shouldn’t miss!
How to make Quiche Lorraine
If you’ve never made homemade now’s a great time to give it a go. If you can fry bacon, you can make this amazing tart.
Start by making a pastry crust in a tart pan or deep dish pie plate.
- Our recipe for Perfect Pie Crust in 3-Easy Steps makes enough dough for two pie crusts, so I often have one in the freezer. You never know when you might need a pie or tart crust!
- Blind bake the crust until set and lightly browned.
Once the prep work is done, the filling comes together in less than 5 minutes.
- cook bacon until crisp, then drain on paper towels;
- sauté minced shallot or onion in a little bacon drippings;
- whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne;
- fold in shredded cheese;
- pour the filling into the baked pie or tart shell and top with sliced green onions or chives;
- bake until golden brown.
Serve and enjoy!
Do you have to use a homemade pastry crust?
No, you don’t have to use homemade pastry. If you don’t want to make your own pie crust, there’s no shame in using a frozen deep-dish pre-made crust or refrigerated store-bought crust. This is a terrific shortcut so no worries.
What if you want to make a crustless Quiche Lorraine?
If you prefer to skip the crust all-together, simple follow the instructions for our Crustless Asparagus Cheese Pie recipe. Replace the asparagus with cooked bacon and bake as directed. Done and done!
Can Quiche Lorraine be made ahead?
There are several options for making this tart ahead of time.
- First, you can make and bake your pastry shell and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 24 hours before filling. You can also make and freeze a pre-baked pie crust for later use.
- Or, you can prepare the recipe as directed, bake, cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. To reheat, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. This method also works well for reheating leftovers.
- Baked quiche can be frozen, well sealed, for up to 3 months. Reheat wrapped in foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Can you freeze an unbaked quiche?
- Yes you can! Place the unbaked tart on a level surface in your freezer.
- Freeze until firm, seal in plastic wrap and foil, then return to the freezer.
- When ready to bake, place the frozen quiche on a baking sheet and bake as directed, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.
- If needed, tent with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.
What is the best kind of cheese to use in Quiche Lorraine?
We recommend a combination of fresh shredded Gruyère and Parmesan. Gruyère is a smooth melting Swiss type cheese with a slightly salty flavor. It can be found in a variety of flavors ranging from mild to intense, based on age. Gruyère shreds beautifully and is perfect for this kind of tart filling.
In our recipe fresh grated Parmesan is sprinkled on top adding a nice golden crust to the top.
If you want to experiment with other cheeses, try Swiss cheese, goat cheese or a good quality cheddar.
Can you use other fillings in Quiche Lorraine?
This recipe includes bacon, also known as lardons, and cheese in the filling. You can substitute diced ham or other meats for the bacon if desired, but then it will be a ham and cheese quiche 🙂
Skip the meat altogether and try our Farmers’ Market Quiche made with fresh vegetables like zucchini, onion and tomatoes.
Another great recipe you’ll want to try is this Cheese and Sausage Quiche recipe with sharp cheddar, crumbled pork sausage and canned evaporated milk. So good!
Do I need to make adjustments to the filling if using a different pie pan?
This recipe is written so the filling fits perfectly into a standard 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. If for some reason you have too much filling, simply pour the excess into a greased, small ramekin and bake.
If you want to use a deep-dish tart pan like the one pictured above, you’ll need to make two small adjustments to the filling:
- I use my favorite 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this recipe.
- The fluted sides are higher than a standard tart pan so I increase the filling by adding one additional egg and an extra 1/2 cup half-and-half. Everything else stays the same.
What if you don’t have half-and-half?
This eggy filling can be made with all half-and-half, all heavy cream, or a combination of half cream and half milk. Unfortunately using all milk doesn’t not work as well in this recipe. I prefer half-and-half as all heavy cream is very rich, but smooth and silky too.
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- 1 9-inch single pie crust
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces (approximately 6 slices)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup heavy cream)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- pinch cayenne
- 4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
- ¾ ounce Parmesan, grated (about ¼ cup)
- 1 tablespoon chives, or thin sliced green onions
- chopped parsley leaves for garnish
To prepare the pie crust:
- If using a 9-inch tart pan. Roll the prepared dough out onto a lightly floured work surface into a 14-inch round. Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin and unroll over the pan. Lift the edges up allowing the dough to ease into the bottom corners of the pan. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the excess dough. Starting at the bottom, firmly press the dough into the sides of the pan to increase the height of the rim. Refrigerate the pie shell for 30 minutes, then freeze for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place the pastry shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Using a dinner fork, poke a few holes on the bottom and sides of the pastry. Line the pastry shell with a doubled 12-inch square piece of aluminum foil, lightly pressing to mold to the sides of the pan. Fill with enough pie weights or dried beans to cover the bottom of the crust and slightly up the sides of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue baking until light brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool while preparing the filling. Leave the oven set on 375°F.
To prepare the filling:
- Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Remove all but about ½ tablespoon of bacon grease from the pan. Add the minced shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
- In a mixing bowl with a spout, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne.
To assemble the quiche:
- Place the baked pastry crust back onto the rimmed baking sheet. Scatter the cooked bacon, shallots and Gruyère evenly over the bottom of the crust. Place the baking sheet on the oven rack. Slowly and gently pour the egg mixture over the bacon and cheese to ½-inch below the rim. Sprinkle the top with the shredded Parmesan and chives, if using.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until light golden brown. To test for doneness, insert a small thin small knife 1-inch from the edge. If it comes out clean, the quiche is done. The center should feel set but still somewhat soft and a little jiggly.
- Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
- For this recipe you can use a 9 1/2-inch tart pan or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
- If using a deep tart pan adjust the ingredients as follows: add one large egg (for a total of 5) and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of half-and-half (for a total of about 2 cups).
- If using a store-bought pre-made frozen pie crust, you may have a little too much filling to fit into the pie shell. Pour the extra custard into a small baking dish sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and bake with the quiche, for a crustless version.
- Make and bake the pastry shell and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 24 hours before filling. Or, freeze a pre-baked pie crust for later use.
- Prepare the quiche as directed, bake, cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. To reheat, cover the cold quiche with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. This method also works well for reheating leftovers.
- Baked quiche can be frozen, well sealed for up to 3 months. Reheat the quiche wrapped in foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- To freeze an unbaked quiche, place the unbaked quiche on a level surface in your freezer. Freeze until firm, then seal the quiche in plastic wrap and foil, then return to the freezer. When ready to bake, place the frozen quiche on a baking sheet and bake as directed, adding 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time. If needed, tent the quiche with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent over-browning.