Back in the 1960's, Americans discovered the classic French custard pie called "Quiche". It was very popular, with its popularity lasting well into the 1970's. Like all fads, it seemed to disappear from view and was seemingly forgotten. Then, in the 1980's, this pie made a resurgence, with the catch-phrase "Real men don't eat quiche" being said as more of a joke than a statement of fact! What was old was new once again!
Since the 1980's, quiche has never vanished from cook's files. What cooks once thought of as a complicated French dish has proven itself to be simply an egg custard pie with some type of flavoring. This is what I'll be discussing today, "Quiche Lorraine", the classic French custard pie. I'd like to verify for the benefit of those who may be unfamiliar with this dish that this isn't a dessert pie. We normally think of egg custard in this country as a dessert, but this is a main dish pie. It would be a perfect lunch or dinner dish when you want something that's light, yet satisfying.
This recipe isn't at all complicated. About the only thing that's really hard about it is making the pie crust portion of the dish. Nowadays, you really don't even have to go that route. There are some very good commercially sold pie crusts in the refrigerated dough section and frozen food sections of the grocery that would be fine to use. But, if you enjoy the challenge of making a pie crust and would like to do that for this recipe, by all means do it! I shared a very good pie crust recipe sometime ago and if you'd like to try that for this dish, here's the link:
This quiche calls for both Swiss and Blue cheeses, which add characteristic flavor to the pie. This recipe also contains sour cream along with heavy cream, so you can see that this is going to be a great tasting main dish. Once you have your pie shell pre-baked, the cheeses are scattered in the bottom of the shell. The remaining ingredients are beaten together and poured into the pie shell over the cheese, then it's ready for the oven. For a light lunch or dinner, a green salad and some French bread would be just the things you need to complement this special pie.
If you've never tried this classic French dish, let this recipe be your guide as you discover a culinary classic. If you're familiar with quiche, remind yourself of how good it is by following this easy recipe:
- 1 deep 9-inch pie shell
- 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup Blue cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
If preparing pastry shell, use a deep 9-inch pie pan. Prick dough throughout the bottom and sides of pastry. If using commercially prepared pie shell, follow package directions for preparing the shell for baking.
Bake empty shell at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Crumble both cheeses in the bottom of the pie shell. Beat the eggs slightly. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until completely combined. Pour evenly over the cheeses in the pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 10 minutes more or until custard is set. Serve warm. Yield: 6-8 servings.