quiche lorraine

May 17, 2012 | 2 comments

the best quiche lorraine

To be completely honest, there are times when I am my own worst enemy in the kitchen. I find recipes that sound perfect and are photographed impeccably, and they give me culinary epiphanies where I realize this will be the greatest dish ever and I have to make this immediately, but then I continue reading and discover countless comments claiming the recipe to be a garbage worthy failure. And yet I think I can beat this, I can make this recipe into the jewel it is supposed to be. And, inevitably, I find I cannot beat this. I cannot make this recipe into the jewel it is supposed to be.

inner leek

spring onions

caramelized leeks and spring onions

just a glug

Oh, I still try. Despite repeated failures, I still try to fix it. Occasionally I win, usually I throw in the towel. This past month, I have barely made one recipe that works correctly and tastes wonderful because I seem to keep picking/being drawn to the duds. Then I look back on the week and realize I fed my family unsaveable disasters (if they’re lucky), or, in many cases nothing.

As with most things I had to go full circle. We went out to a little French Cafe for lunch a few weeks ago and in my stubbornness I ordered duck confit, absolutely positive it would be superior to my husband’s humble quiche lorraine. It’s duck people. It’s the best. It’s posh snobbery, like the French do so well, and snubs its nose at such things as diced up ham and softened leeks in a shell of egg custard. I mean really.

crumbly

add an egg

mix up

To cut to the chase, my husband’s plate was the winner, really there was no contest. My plate didn’t even live up to being a contestant. And because he is awesome (not that we were at a Mother’s Day luncheon) he graciously let me “trade him” quiche for duck as he saw I was listlessly pushing my olive oil soaked side salad around my plate while watching him stroke his fork between the fluffy egg custard with each bite. That is when it hit me like an egg in the face. I needed to go back to the basics. Back to overly simple food. Nothing glizted up or fancy. Nothing confited or requiring a million and two steps or dependent upon pretentious ingredients. I needed to go back to the basics. Where eggs meet your refrigerator’s hodge podge of odds and ends and then get poured into a shell (or even sans shell, if wanted) and baked into, well, perfection. Yes, quiche is, in one word, perfection. In two words, absolutely divine.

ham cubes

jarlesburg

Especially so when your husband is willing to break his healthy diet to help you polish off a 9-inch quiche in one sitting. But, overall, I’m back. I’ve evolved. I’m no longer concerned with recipes that have failure written all over them. I’m done with fussy things. I am going back to the simple. To the basics. And I invite you all to come along, but only if you bring me a piece of this quiche. It really is quite divine.

ready for the custard

sour heavy creamed custard

quiche lorraine

P.S. An extra dose of cheese.

One Year Ago: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Two Years Ago: Buttermilk Honey Biscuits

Quiche Lorraine
Adapted from the Le Pain Quotidien via  The LA Times

The last time I made quiche (two years ago!) I had the same revelation I’m having now. Quiche is perfect at any time, for any occasion. This was a late lunch/early dinner for us and thus paired with a small side salad of greens, though I could easily eat a wedge for breakfast and be just as content. Just a few notes: my tart pan is only an inch deep and could not fit everything within its rim. If your pan is deeper, then everything should fit just fine, if on the thinner side, like mine, some of the custard may need to be left out.

3 cups diced leeks, white and light green only (from about 3 medium leeks)
3/4 cup diced onion, I used spring onions, but any would work
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch pepper
1 cups diced ham ( 1/4-inch dice)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Saute the leeks and onions in the olive oil for 30 to 40 minutes stirring occasionally until mixture is caramelized. (Note: After everything was caramelized I saw my pan had a nice bit of fond — the delicious brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan — and couldn’t bare to let them stay where they were. I added just a splash of white wine, I would say no more than a teaspoon, and used a wooden spoon to scrape up the caramelized bits. If you do the same, which I recommend you do, you don’t need much wine at all, and you don’t want to make the leeks soggy or sitting in liquid, it will make your crust soggy. If by accident you dump a little too much in, just turn the heat up and cook it off.) Remove from heat and cool.

While leeks are cooking, combine flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl, or bowl of a food processor). Add the butter and mix with the paddle attachment (or by hand with a fork, or pulsing if a food processor) until combined. Add one egg; mix until dough forms. (Note: I was apprehensive that this would not be enough liquid to get the dough to come together, but if you let the machine run long enough it will. BUT, if for any reason it is not, and flour can be temperamental, go ahead and add just a tiny bit of ice water until it does hold together. The dough should not be tacky or sticky, yet it shouldn’t be dry or crumbly.)

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. If you get cracks in your crust, you can take some of the excess and just press it into the crack. Trim the excess around the edges (I usually run a rolling pin over the top and the pan edge will cut right through the dough), and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the quiche shell chills, preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Mix the heavy cream and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining three eggs. Add a pinch each of nutmeg, salt and pepper and combine to form a batter.

Remove the quiche shell from the refrigerator and spread the leek and onion mixture evenly over the base. Sprinkle the ham and then the cheese over the leeks and onions. Pour in the batter and place the quiche in the oven.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. (Note, mine took much longer, about 50 – 60 minutes, but that could also be because of my pan.) Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Conversions & Equivalents

Volume | Baking | Metric | Pan Size | Temperature | Oven | Other

1/2 teaspoon = 30 drops
1 teaspoon = 1/3 tablespoon OR 60 drops
3 teaspoon = 1 tablespoon or 1/2 fluid ounce
1/2 tablespoon = 1 1/2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons or 1/2 fluid ounce
2 tablespoons = 1/8 cup or 1 fluid ounce
3 tablespoons = 1 1/2 fluid ounces
4 tablespoons = 1 1/4 cup or 2 fluid ounces
5 1/3 tablespoons = 1/3 cup or 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup or 4 fluid ounces
10 2/3 tablespoons = 2/3 cup or 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup or 6 fluid ounces
16 tablespoons = 1 cup or 8 fluid ounces or 1/2 pint
1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons or 1 fluid ounce
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons or 2 fluid ounces
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
3/8 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons or 4 fluid ounces
2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
5/8 cup = 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons or 6 fluid ounces
7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
1 cup = 16 tablespoons or 1/2 pint or 8 fluid ounces
2 cups = 1 pint or 16 fluid ounces
1 pint = 2 cups or 16 fluid ounces
1 quart = 2 pints or 4 cups or 32 fluid ounces
1 gallon = 4 quarts or 8 pints or 16 cups or 128 fluid ounces
FLOUR
1 cup all-purpose flour = 5 ounces or 142 grams
1 cup cake flour = 4 ounces or 113 grams
1 cup whole wheat flour = 5 1/2 ounces or 156 grams
SUGAR
1 cup granulated white sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup packed brown sugar = 7 ounces or 198 grams
1 cup confectioners sugar = 4 ounces or 113 grams
COCOA POWDER
1 cup cocoa powder = 3 ounces or 85 grams
BUTTER
4 tablespoons = 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup or 2 ounces
8 tablespoons = 1 stick or 1/2 cup or 4 ounces
16 tablespoons = 2 sticks or 1 cup or 8 ounces
32 tablespoons = 4 sticks or 2 cups or 1 pound
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
1/2 teaspoon = 2.46 milliliters
3/4 teaspoon = 3.7 milliliters
1 teaspoon = 4.93 milliliters
1 1/4 teaspoon = 6.16 milliliters
1 1/2 teaspoon = 7.39 milliliters
1 3/4 teaspoon = 8.63 milliliters
2 teaspoon = 9.86 milliliters
1 tablespoon = 14.79 milliliters
2 tablespoons = 29.57 milliliters
1/4 cup = 59.15 milliliters
1/2 cup = 118.3 milliliters
1 cup = 236.59 milliliters
2 cups or 1 pint = 473.18 milliliters
3 cups = 709.77 milliliters
4 cups or 1 quart = 946.36 milliliters
1/4 teaspoon = 1.23 milliliters
4 quarts or 1 gallon = 3.785 liters
PAN SIZE VOLUME CAN SUBSTITUTE WITH
1 8-inch round cake pan 4 cups

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch pie plate

2 8-inch round cake pans 8 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 9-inch round cake pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dish

1 10-inch springform pan

1 10-inch round cake pan 11 cups

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9-inch tube pan

1 10-inch springform pan

2 10-inch round cake pans 22 cups

5 8-inch round cake pans

3 or 4 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch spring form pan

9-inch tube pan 12 cups

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

10-inch tube pans 16 cups

3 9-inch round cake pans

2 10-inch pie plates

4 8-inch pie plates

2 9x5-inch loaf pans

2 8-inch square baking dishes

2 9-inch square baking dishes

10-inch bundt pan 12 cups

1 9x13-inch baking dish

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 9-inch tube pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

1 10-inch springform pan

11x7x2-inch baking dish 6 cups

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch round cake pan

9x13x2-inch baking dish 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

3 8-inch round cake pans

1 10x15-inch jellyroll pan

10x15x1-inch jellyroll pan 15 cups

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

2 8-inch round cake pan

1 9x13-inch baking dish

9x5-inch loaf pan 8 cups

1 10-inch pie plate pan

1 8-inch square baking dish

1 9-inch square baking dish

8x4-inch loaf pan 6 cups

1 8-inch round cake pan

1 11x7-inch baking dish

9-inch springform pan 10 cups

1 10-inch round cake pan

1 10-inch spring form pan

2 8-inch round cake pans

2 9-inch round cake pans

10-inch springform pan 12 cups

2 8x4-inch loaf pan

1 9-inch tube pan

2 9-inch round cake pans

1 10-inch bundt pan

2 11x7-inch baking dishes

2 8-inch round cake pans

8-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plates

9-inch square baking dish 8 cups

1 11x7-inch baking dish

1 9x5-inch loaf pan

2 8-inch pie plate

Water Freezes 32°F 0°C
  40°F 4.4°C
  50°F 10°C
  60°F 15.6°C
  70°F 21.1°C
  80°F 26.7°C
  90°F 32.2°C
  100°F 37.8°C
  110°F 43.3°C
  120°F 48.9°C
  130°F 54.4°C
  140°F 60°C
  150°F 65.6°C
  160°F 71.1°C
  170°F 76.7°C
  180°F 82.2°C
  190°F 87.8°C
  200°F 93.3°C
Water Boils 212°F 100°C
  250°F 121°C
  300°F 149°C
  350°F 177°C
  400°F 205°C
  450°F 233°C
  500°F 260°C
275°F = 140°C or Gas Mark 1
300°F = 150°C or Gas Mark 2
325°F = 165°C or Gas Mark 3
350°F = 180°C or Gas Mark 4
375°F = 190°C or Gas Mark 5
400°F = 200°C or Gas Mark 6
425°F = 220°C or Gas Mark 7
450°F = 230°C or Gas Mark 9
475°F = 240°C or Gas Mark 10

And for conversions that are not listed I found a great conversion calculator here!

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  1. This looks so delicious. This will grace my table today… You are so right, sometimes simple is more.

  2. Hello, great read on that one about Quiches lorraine. Nice blog. Keep up posting! Cheers, Maria.

 

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