A classic French tart filled with a delicious savory custard with smoky bacon and creamy Gruyère in a flaky pastry crust
- 1 9-inch single pie crust
- 8 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces (approximately 6 slices)
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1/8 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 cups)
- ¾ ounce Parmesan, grated (about 1/4 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.
Options for making Quiche Lorraine ahead of time:
- 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 a 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.