Quiche Lorraine - Cook's Illustrated

Quiche Lorraine & Salad . $4.95

Quiche is one of those dishes that has you covered any time…it goes from breakfast to brunch, to lunch and even to dinner with ease. There’s nothing like it when you’re snowed in and want a casual meal in front of the fire, but it’s just as good on a balmy afternoon on the deck.

Quiche Lorraine
Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is simple, but when I was a young mom in the 80’s it became incredibly popular (“Real men don’t eat Quiche…”) I made a lot of bad ones before coming across a Cook’s Illustrated “formula” that I’ve adapted and used ever since. (Worth noting here, this is not Cook’s Illustrated “Deep Dish” Quiche.) A few little tricks and my Quiches turn out beautifully fluffy and gorgeous. See the variations, below, for other quiches.

I like to serve Quiche with a fresh salad, a nice counterpoint to all the richness, when I serve Quiche for dinner; for breakfast or brunch, a simple fruit salad is wonderful. Serve Quiche warm or room temperature depending on the season.

Using sales priced ingredients, Quiche can be a very cost-effective meal – this one is priced out at about $3.45 using sales priced ingredients and my strategies, below. A careful reader will probably note that my actual cost was $1.45. At any rate, with either pricing, there is enough left over in the budget for a lovely salad – a bit of Spinach or Romaine, a few tomatoes, mushrooms and red onions (if bought on sale) will cost very little. I let the sales prices during the week guide me on what produce to buy.

Quiche Lorraine and Variations  {Print}

serves 6

  • 1 pie crust; partially baked, still warm
  • 4 ounces bacon; 1/2″ pieces, cooked, 1/4 package
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk (Cook’s Illustrated says to use whole, but I always use 1 percent.) (see note)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • pinch nutmeg or a few swipes from a microplane
  • 4 ounces Gruyère cheese; grated, or substitute Swiss

Prepare your pie crust and place in pie plate, then freeze for 20 minutes. This will set your crust so it be flakier and have less shrinkage. Skipping this step also might mean the crust could crack, and both cracking and shrinking affect the amount of filling that the crust will hold.

This amount of filling is meant for a regular pie plate, not necessarily a deep dish. If making in the regular size, make the crust edge high. If making in a deep dish, it won’t quite fill it up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and adjust oven rack to the center position. Gently press a square of aluminum foil into the pie shell; evenly distribute 1 cup or 12 ounces of ceramic pie weights over foil (you can also use dried beans). Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering sides of foil and pulling up and out. Be careful – it helps to have a large bowl ready to deposit the foil into.

Have the filling ready when the crust comes out of the oven – you will want to put the ingredients into the WARM pie shell. (If you have a cold shell, put it in the oven for a few minutes to heat.) While the crust is baking, cook bacon as desired: pan, oven or microwave. I preslice it cold, cook, then drain.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Distribute cheese and bacon evenly over the bottom of the warm pie crust. Pour in egg mixture to about 1/2 inch below top of crust (you may not use every bit of it – you can place any extra in a small custard cup in a larger container of hot water and bake for about 15 -20 minutes along the Quiche – the timing depends on the amount and the size of the container.)

Turn oven down to 350 degrees. Bake quiche until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but is still soft like jello, 32 to 35 minutes. A protector for the crust may be necessary if the crimped edge browns too much. I make my own before I cook the pie (and store it with my pie beans) or you can buy a gadget called a pie shield. More info on pie shields on my How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust post.

This Quiche will be surprisingly soft when first removed from the oven, but will continue to cook and set as it rests. Transfer Quiche to rack to cool, at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes:

  • If using other fillings that are bulkier, decrease milk and cream to 3/4 cup.
  • Because 1/2 and 1/2 is half milk and half cream, 2 cups may be substituted.
  • For Variations, see “Put Your own Spin on It,” below.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips, as well as throughout the recipe, for saving money/time and managing this recipe on a budget.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
Ready for the freezer
Ready for the freezer

Put Your own Spin on It:

  • For Crabmeat Quiche: Reduce milk  and cream to 3/4 cup each. Add two tablespoons dry sherry and a pinch of cayenne to custard mixture. Use eight ounces of crab with two tablespoons chopped fresh chives instead of bacon and cheese.
  • For Ham and Asparagus Quiche: Blanch 8 spears of asparagus, cut on the bias to one inch pieces, till tender but still crisp, about two minutes. Reduce cream and milk to 3/4 cup each. Replace bacon and cheese with asparagus and 8 ounces of ham. Ham should be in 1/4″ fine dice.
  • Quiche is amazingly versatile: You can fill it with all kinds of cheese, more cheese, different ingredients, all kinds of vegetables (just make certain they are precooked a little and well-drained so they don’t weep.)
  • I’ll throw leftovers into a Quiche, especially leftover greens like turnip greens or spinach.
  • You can think of flavor combinations you might like – think of your favorite sandwich, or favorite Italian or Mexican meal – whatever you love together will probably taste great in a Quiche.

My Pay Off:

Two meals made at a budget price, with leftovers, because you know I’ll double and freeze, and have a leg up next time I want to serve one. Simply because they’re so rich, we don’t often have Quiche, but it’s a huge hit at our house when we do – and amazingly satisfying. It’s also a little amazing to me how a few simple, inexpensive ingredients can come together so quickly in a Quiche: a couple of eggs, a pie crust and a little dairy make a great meal.

Quiche Lorraine made February 2012 at $3.41, repriced February 2014 for $3.48.

Kitchen & Cooking Hack:

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4 thoughts on “Quiche Lorraine & Salad . $4.95”

    1. Thanks, Jennifer – I wouldn’t rate Quiche as one of my most healthy favorites, but it’s so good – and well, there’s worse things in the world! You mentioned Twitter not too long ago; I’m having some difficulty with my Twitter options showing in WordPress…I’ll figure it out soon – I’m a better cook than a computerist, I guess!

      1. WordPress can be tricky. If you go to help under WordPress, type in twitter and share. It should take you to a tutorial which will show you step by step. And it’s not a big thing. I learned most of my tricks on wordpress by having a friend show me in person. Otherwise, it just isn’t that easy! Hang in there! :)

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