The original ‘quiche Lorraine’ was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.
I have long looked for what to me is the perfect quiche or, savoury tart, and in this recipe I think I have found it. I used Angela Nilsen's The Ultimate Recipe Book for some tips and tricks. For instance milk should not be used in the custard as it makes it heavy. A mix of cream and and creme fraiche or sour cream gives it a wonderful silky softness. Grated cheese should not be incorporated into the custard as it makes it heavy and dense. Cubes or thin slices of cheese are the thing to use. A little grated parmesan or cheddar on the top while baking will turn it golden brown without over cooking the custard.
I have tried various mixes for the pastries but have found the plain half fat to flour basic shortcrust mix does just as well if not better than the richer varieties. It is easier to crisp up.
This recipe will make a 23cm/9inch quiche and give you about 8 slices.
Plain Shortcrust Pastry
225 gms/8oz flour
100gms/4oz butter very cold cut into cubes
Iced water to bind
Rich Shortcrust pastry
145gm /-5oz butter very cold cut into cubes
1 egg + 80ml v cold water
5-6 largeish mushrooms chopped (more if you like)
100gms/4 oz Feta Cheese chopped
6-8 sun dried tomatoes chopped
200mls double cream
200mls sour cream/creme fraiche
3 eggs well beaten
Grating of nutmeg
Good grind black pepper
1 Tblsp Tarragon vinegar
A little butter
Handful of grated parmesan
Blend flour and butter to crumbs in processor
Add 1 egg(if using) + 80ml v cold water and pulse until dough forms into a ball.
Roll out to fit the tin, leave a little extra depth above the edge of the quiche pan to allow for shrinkage.
Prick the bottom with a fork, then chill the tart case in the freezer.
Heat Oven to 200.C/Fan180.C/Gas 6 and slip a baking sheet in
After about 30 minutes, cover the pastry in a layer of greaseproof paper or foil and put either baking stones, or dried beans on the top to keep the pastry down.
Bake in the oven on the baking sheet for 15 minutes or so.
Remove the beans and paper an pop the tart case back in the oven for 4-5mins
Prepare while tart case is baking
Melt the butter in a pan add the mushrooms and tarragon vinegar and allow to just cook. Remove from heat and set aside
Beat the sour cream/creme fraiche and cream together and beat in the eggs adding a good grind of pepper and grated nutmeg.
Place the mushrooms chopped feta cheese and tomatoes in the base of the tart case
Pull the oven shelf out a wee bit and place the tart back on the baking sheet. (This method makes it easier to fill the case)
Gently pour the egg mix into the case until full to the top.
Scatter Parmesan over the surface.
Lower oven temp to 190.C/Fan170.C/Gas5
Bake for about 25 mins or until golden and softly set. The centre should not feel too firm
Allow to settle for 5 mins before removing from the tin.
I do find the semi-dried tomatoes that I make myself work really well in this but shop bought sun dried tomatoes will do. If you use fresh tomatoes remove some of the seeds and core