La Quiche Alsacienne
Quiche Alsacienne Quiche lorraine or as my friends often call it a "bacon cake" has proved to be popular mainly between men. You know, many men are not special fans of sweet pastries. Let´s say they are usually women...
Quiche lorraine or as my friends often call it a "bacon cake" has proved to be popular mainly between men. You know, many men are not special fans of sweet pastries. Let´s say they are usually women who go for a coffee with a piece of nice cake, making it a special occasion, pleasant moment, self satisfaction. I baked it once for my birthday party, and to my pleasure it was gone in just few minutes. A friend of mine came to me saying "Martina, it was fabulous, but I was missing one very important part: crispy bacon on the top." So true, since then I do never skip this part, and I have noticed that everybody is saving the crispy garnish as a last mouthful.
Although it´s a cake, it is usually served as a main course accompanied by some kind of salad with milder flavor that should not outstand the taste of quiche. Having a "cake" as a main dish may seem unsatisfactive but believe me, it is impossible to eat this one in bigger volumes if you don´t want to be dying in few hours. Take in account that the cake contains cream and bacon, the both ingredients high in fat.
Most people think the origin of quiche is in France, it is Germany though more precisely the region of Lothringen. Germans used to call it "kuchen" literally meaning a cake. As the French conquered Lothringen they renamed it Lorraine and kuchen to quiche. The original simple quiche lorraine should only contain heavy cream, bacon and eggs. Nowadays cheese is often added as well as onion. This one is not called lorraine anymore, it is a quiche Alsacienne. Other names are used depending on the ingredients added like florentine ( adding spinach), provençale (adding tomatoes) and others. Personally I prefer adding both onions and cheese, one would say that it means adding more calories and making the cake harder to digest, which may be true but let´s say that at least that quiche would keep
- 280 g plain flour
- 160 g butter, cold in cubes
- 2 table spoons cold water
- 1 big onion
- 1 table spoon of butter
- 2 eggs
- 250ml heavy cream
- 180 g bacon ( ½ English, ½ Schwarzwald type)
- 120 g Gruyere cheese
1. First let´s prepare the dough, it is very simple just combining butter with flour and water. The butter should be cold and be processed with flour quickly as it melts and getting in touch with water is causing gluten development. Just incorporate well the two ingredients not overkneading as we would end up with hard crust. Little chunks of butter are all right as they make the dough crispier. Knead it in a ball shape and put in a fridge to harden a bit for at least 15 minutes.
2. Take out the dough, reknead just a bit and roll out (about 0,5cm thick). Put in a simple round baking pan or a spring form, fit well and refrigate for another 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile heat the oven to 200 °C, "blind bake" (see the advice) the crust for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.
4. Cut the onion into thin slices and put on a pan with a spoon of butter.
5. Cut both bacons, the schwarzwald in thin slices the English one into small cubes about ½ cm. Sweat both onion and bacons together until the onion is tender and bacon crispy.
6. Put the bacon mixture into the pre-baked crust and spread well.
7. In a bowl mix eggs, heavy cream and grated cheese season with salt, pepper and chives and pour also into the crust.
8. Bake for additional 30 minutes at 180 °C until the top is golden brown.
9. Garnish with fried crispy slices of bacon and sprinkle with fresh chives. You may also add slices of gruyere on the warm cake, it melts making a nice effect.
Other ideas for quiche
- Quiche with salmon, spinach and feta cheese (salmon fits well also with dill)
- Mushroom quiche with tomatoes
- Quiche in Italian style – frilled eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes
- Quiche with chicken breast, broccoli and Brie cheese
"Blind baking" or pre-baking
is baking a pie crust without adding the filling, it may be due to the shorter baking time of filling, or the filling doesn´t need to be baked at all. Pre-baking also helps the crust to be liquid resistant (even more after raddling with egg) and not soggy, it is beneficial to use with fillings containing a significant amount of liquid.
Piercing the dough- after fitting the dough into your mould don´t forget to pierce the bottom with a fork so that the steam could escape and there are no imperfections.
For covering the dough you have several possibilities you may use wax-paper, parchment paper, coffee filter or aluminium foil¨.
To prevent the dough from rising I use different legumes like dried beans, peas, lentils or even rice. There are also special pie-weights available in the stores.
- generally the baking time is from 15-30 minutes depending on filling
- keep temperature around 200°C, lower for the crusts with higher content of sugar
- don´t forget to cover also the sides of crust or they might get burnt