Diva on a Dime: Classic Quiche Lorraine


Quiche Lorraine
Enjoy your Christmas holiday morning with this bake-ahead quiche. – © Jason Coblentz (www.JasonCoblentz.com)

Before the morning erupts into chaos while the kiddies (and kids at heart) unwrap everything under the tree, give a gift that everyone is guaranteed to love. Start your holiday celebration with a delicious quiche Lorraine.

Named after the Lorraine region of France, classic quiche Lorraine (keesh loh-rain) is the queen of quiches. A buttery, flaky crust is filled with a rich, savory egg custard, crisp bacon and Swiss cheese, and baked in a pie or tart pan. What's not to love?

Quiche is one of those dishes that everyone should know how to make. They're perfect for holidays because they can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen, then quickly reheated. Quiche is wonderful served hot, warm or cold, for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. It's quite elegant but surprisingly quick and easy to throw together.

Another reason to love quiche this time of year is because most of the ingredients go on sale for the holidays. Historically, prices are great on eggs, bacon, heavy cream and premade pie crusts. Of course, it's even less expensive to make the crust from scratch, but if you've got enough on your to-do list, buy a frozen one.

Quiche recipes are extremely adaptable. To be completely accurate, in France, there are three kinds of quiches. Quiche Lorraine, made with bacon or lardons only (modern preparations of the dish usually include Swiss cheese); Vosgienne, with bacon and cheese; and Alsacienne, with bacon, onions and cheese. The French are exceptionally protective of these distinctions. Of course, you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. Quiches are also a great way to use up leftovers.

Favorite side dishes for quiche include a bowl of mixed fruit for breakfast or brunch. For lunch or dinner, add a green salad or tomato soup and a nice glass of white wine.

Hopefully, this recipe will inspire your own custom quiche creations. Since you've baked it ahead, you can save your energy for making memories and mimosas.


CLASSIC QUICHE LORRAINE

Yield: 6 servings

Time: 1 hour


8 slices bacon (cooked crisp and crumbled)

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

4 eggs (beaten)

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dash black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons flour

1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry shell


1. Preheat oven to 375 F.


2. In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme, and beat well with a whisk or eggbeater. In another bowl, toss the cheese with the flour. Sprinkle cheese and crumbled bacon into the unbaked pastry shell.


3. Now, carefully pour the egg mixture into the pie shell.


4. Bake the quiche for 40 to 50 minutes, until egg mixture is mostly set and slightly puffed, and the top is golden. Let rest for 10 minutes, then slice into wedges to serve.


Make it Ahead:

Bake the quiche and let it cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freezer up to three months. Reheat loosely covered with foil in a 325 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until warmed through.


TIP: Don't use half and half as a substitute for the heavy cream and milk. Heavy cream is 38% fat and milk is 4%, so that the result is 21% fat. Half and half is only 12% fat, and while still delicious, gives a different end result.


***

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website "Divas On A Dime -- Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!" Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. E-mail Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

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