Happy Birthday, Mom! Since today is her birthday, I thought I’d share one of her recipes. When I was younger, I was never really a big fan of quiche. Don’t ask me why, because I’m not really sure. I mean, one of my favorite breakfasts was scrambled eggs with bacon, and this recipe isn’t much different. Perhaps it stemmed from my very brief phase where I wasn’t too keen on eggs, unless, of course, they were mixed with bacon. Obviously this still doesn’t make much sense. The only real explanation: I was a very picky child. Regardless, I digress. That aversion has since passed and now I don’t know how I could not have loved a pastry shell filled with bacon, cheese and eggs. Technically a quiche is any open pastry that is filled with a savory custard of eggs and milk or cream. The name of the quiche simply depends on what you add to this custard. For instance, according to Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, quiche aux oignons is an onion quiche and quiche aux épinards is a spinach quiche. The most popular variety of this French dish is quiche lorraine, which is bacon and cheese added to your basic quiche recipe. Named after the French province of Lorraine, it began as a more rustic dish cooked in cast iron, before it gained popularity and was dressed up over the ages. No matter what you add to your quiche, it’s a fun way to make something that looks impressive and sounds sophisticated and très chic. What really makes this recipe great is the ease with which you can transport the quiche, if you’re going to a potluck brunch.
Mom’s Quiche Lorraine
When Mom was taking French in high school, on top of learning the French language, they also mastered some French cuisine. This is one of the recipes that my mom learned to make. This recipe is really much easier than it looks, and is the perfect way to impress your friends for brunch.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup milk
Combine the butter and shortening together with a fork. Add the sugar, salt and flour and mix with the fork until combined. Add milk and continue to toss until dough is moist, but not sticky. If necessary, add either a bit more milk or flour to adjust the dough’s moistness. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll thickness to 1/4 inch. Invert a 9-inch pie dish and cut 2 inches from the edge of the pan. Grease the pie plate and place cut dough in the plate. Gently push against the bottom and sides of the dish. Using fingers, pinch the edges to crimp the crust.
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups half & half
- 1/2 pound Swiss cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup ham or bacon, cooked
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flaked
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- Dash of ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix cheeses together and place shredded cheese on the bottom of the crust, reserving 1/4 cup cheese for the top of the quiche. Then add the ham or bacon. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, half & half and seasonings together until smooth. Pour over the ham/bacon and cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese onto the top of the mixture. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. You will know that the quiche is done if it appears moderately browned and the quiche will appear set when dish is gently moved. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, before cutting.