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Easy quiche Lorraine recipe
By BBC Maestro
Chefs and home cooks have been remaking this French classic for centuries. Whether you’re looking for a new dish to serve up to dinner guests, or one that can be packed into a picnic basket, a freshly made quiche Lorraine will do just the trick.
Read on to learn how to make French chef Pierre Koffmann’s classic easy quiche Lorraine recipe in 10 simple steps.
What is quiche Lorraine?
A quiche is a French tart made from a pastry crust with a creamy, custard filling. “To a Frenchman, quiche is the most traditional of all the bistro dishes,” says Pierre Koffmann in his BBC Maestro course on classic French bistro cooking. Its filling is made from eggs, butter, cream and, sometimes, cheese. “The idea is always the same. [It’s] the crust - and the mix is milk, cream, eggs,” he says.
There are many variations of quiche. “You can do it with mushrooms, you can even do it with mustard [and] you can do it with lots of fish,” says Pierre Koffmann. Some popular choices are quiche aux fruits de mer (or ‘seafood quiche’) made with shrimp, crab or lobster, or quiche aux poireaux which is made with leeks. Then, of course, there is the much-adored quiche Lorraine.
So, what’s in a quiche Lorraine you ask? Quiche Lorraine is a famous recipe that uses bacon in its filling, and it’s been satisfying French food enthusiasts for years. Its roots are in the Lorraine region of France, nestled alongside the German border. Some argue it’s a dish that’s taken influence from both countries - in Germany, a quiche has long been an egg custard pie baked in brioche, but it’s said that the French enhanced it by using additional fillings and swapping to pastry dough instead.
You can eat quiche Lorraine hot or cold, so it’s a versatile dish - which is why you're as likely to find it on the menus of high-end bistros as you are in school lunchboxes. “When it’s done properly, a quiche is a very nice dish,” says Pierre Koffmann.
Quiche Lorraine recipe
To make this classic French delicacy, you will need a tart tin, some greaseproof paper, and a rolling pin. You’ll also need a set of ingredients for the pastry and the filling.
For the pastry:
- 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 4 eggs
- 100ml of cold water
- 400g softened, cubed unsalted butter
For the filling:
- 225g thick bacon lardons
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 375ml milk
- 375ml double cream
- salt and black pepper nutmeg
- 150g grated Gruyère cheese
Making the pastry
1. Pour the flour onto a clean work surface and arrange it so it forms a well in the centre. Take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it over the flour.
2. Tip the eggs into the middle of the well and pour in the water and the softened butter. Slowly begin to combine the eggs, butter and water, and then continue to pull the mixture together with your hands. As it comes together, start kneading the mix until the butter has absorbed all the flour, forming a pastry dough. Roll it into a ball, cover it tightly and place it in the fridge to cool completely. Whilst it’s chilling, preheat your oven to 160 °C (320°F).
3. Lightly flour a clean surface and unwrap your pastry. Roll it out into a large circle roughly 1-2mm in thickness. Now you want to get it into your tart case. Delicately roll your pastry around the rolling pin to lift it up, then carefully unroll it over your tart case.
4. Lightly press the pastry into a single layer over the base of the case. You don’t want it to break, so use a light touch. Make sure to press it into the edges of the case here, to give your tart those lovely ridges.
You may have a bit of excess pastry overhanging. Rather than trimming it off with a knife, Pierre recommends you roll your rolling pin along the top of the tart. The pressure of the rolling should break off the pastry neatly. Combine the trimming into a ball and store it in a fridge or freezer for another project.
5. Using gentle pressure, encourage the pastry up just past the edge of the case with your thumb. Then grab a fork and poke a few holes into the base to allow the pastry to breathe “just in case the dough decides to rise,” says Pierre Koffmann. “It shouldn’t do it because it isn’t puff pastry, but you never know”.
6. Now cover the tart with a sheet of greaseproof paper. You want enough to cover the base but a little more to overhang as well. Fill it with dry rice, leaving a gap in the centre. “The rice is just to keep the pastry down,” he explains. “With the weight of the rice, the pastry won’t move”. You can also use dry lentils or baking beans.
7. Now it’s ready to part-bake. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes to firm up and turn lightly golden in colour. Once done, remove it from the oven, take out the rice filling and paper, and leave to cool whilst you make the filling.
For the filling
8. Put a dry pan on medium to high heat and fry the bacon lardons for 5 minutes or so. Once they begin to turn slightly golden and crisp, turn off the heat and leave them to cool. Turn the oven up to 170°C (338°F).
9. Whisk together the eggs, extra yolks, milk, and double cream in a bowl. Then add the salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and grated cheese and whisk once more.
10. Scrape the fried bacon and its juices into the egg mixture and slowly tip it into the baked tart case. Then put it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once it’s done, leave to cool for 15 minutes and then remove from the tart case.
When you’re ready to tuck in, why not serve it alongside a garden salad? Or if you want to save it for later, pack it away in the fridge for another time. Now that you’ve mastered a quiche Lorraine you can experiment with your own fillings and flavours. And if you’re hungry for more new recipes, take a look at some of our online cooking courses for some inspiration.
Learn more about French cooking
Join Pierre Koffmann as he takes you on a journey of classic French bistro cooking. Along the way, you’ll learn the tips and tricks that have followed him throughout his stealthy career, as well as how to make some of his world-renowned signature dishes. He’ll equip you with all you need to feel confident in the kitchen, just like he did with Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. Who knows where it could take you…