A while back, Williams-Sonoma was having a fantastic sale that I considered would be a crime not to participate in. Why scour the website daily if I'm not going to end up getting anything when the times comes to get it at a discounted rate (and with free shipping no less)? So, there I was, browsing the baking section when there IT was: a beautiful, french tart pan. Up until that point I could only bookmark all the tart recipes I came across and wonder, what if? But now, now was the time to take action, so in went the pan into my cart, with all the tart possibilities finally becoming attainable. And then it arrived and I said, "It's way too nice to use. Better save it for a special occasion. Back in the box you go!"
That was months ago.
Honestly, that always happens. I pine over something for what seems like forever, to the point where it's the only thing I can search for, and then I get it, and I deem it way too nice to use. "I NEED AN OCCASION TO BREAK IT IN," I'll insist. But then no occasion is ever good enough, so whatever it is waits and waits to be used. But that has to change, so I made Quiche Lorraine.
I love this tart pan, and I'm so excited that the first thing I decided to make was Quiche Lorraine for dinner. It's so good, and so simple to make. Plus, it can be served or cold depending on the setting. It may be getting a little chillier outside, but we've still got some warmish days in the forecast that are pretty perfect for a picnic. Trust me, take it from someone who lives in the Midwest, these are the golden weather days. Soon all we'll have is snow piles and distant memories of when the temperature was a steamy 50 degrees. And if given the choice to eat outside while the trees are beautiful hues of yellow, red, and orange, you take it.
Here's something that broke from tradition: I used pancetta instead of lardons. One because I love pancetta and will take any excuse to use it, and two, because lardons in 5 oz containers are a little hard to get my hands on around here. And as it turns out, pancetta really, really works. It still gives you the salty, crispiness that lardons give you, but it doesn't overpower. I may have to alter the salt levels in the egg mix, but I think it really all comes down to personal preference.
And remember: Quiche Lorraine is just egg, heavy cream, bacon, and a little salt and pepper. If you add anything else, it's no longer Quiche Lorraine. Still delicious, but no longer Quiche Lorraine.
What You'll Need:
For the Pastry
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened and at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 2 eggs, separated
- Cup of ice water
For the Quiche Filling
- 5 oz pancetta (or lardons if you're lucky enough to find it!)
- 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
First, Make the Pastry:
Using a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in the flour, followed by the egg yolks, and 2 tablespoons of ice water. Mix together until a smooth ball forms, only kneading the dough as much as necessary to bring it together. If the dough seems a bit dry, you can add more water, but be careful not to make the dough too wet.
Once the dough has come together, wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight. (If you don't have the time, make sure to at least let it chill for an hour. )
When It's Time for Quiche:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When you are ready to roll out the dough, take it out of the fridge and let it rest on the countertop for at least 30 minutes to make it easier to work with. Roll out the pastry dough between two even sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/4 inch thick, and use it to carefully line your tart pan. If you have any extra pastry dough, use it to patch up any cracks. Brush the sides and pastry base with the leftover egg whites. Pop your tart pan back into the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
To make the filling, fry the pancetta in a frying pan until golden brown and crispy, then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess grease.
In a bowl, lightly beat the egg and egg yolks, then add the heavy cream, then the seasoning. Beat again until everything is mixed together well.
Remove the tart pan from the fridge, then scatter the cooled pancetta all around in the pastry shell. Next, pour in the egg mixture.
CAREFULLY transfer the quiche to the oven (I placed it on a baking sheet both for stability, and to catch any overflows), and bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven. MAKE SURE to keep an eye on it so that it doesn't stay too long in the oven and crack. A perfect quiche has a golden brown top, and is set. No one wants cracked quiche.
This quiche can be served warm or cold.
SOURCE: Adapted slightly from The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes, by Rachel Khoo