Quiche is a type of savoury tart made with a buttery pastry shell filled with a mixture of egg and cream (or milk). The most famous iteration of this pie is the quiche Lorraine and its preparation first appeared in the 16th century in the French region of Loire. This version includes bacon or lardons in the egg filling, and it considered to be the original recipe though many variations of it exist nowadays.
Simply put, quiche is a wonderful dish that works for every occasion. A slice of this golden, flaky pie brimming with a custardy filling is always a welcomed view, be it at dinner parties, picnics and potlucks. Making a quiche is not hard, however, it requires some knowledge of pastry techniques and a little science, all of which will be discussed in this guide.
Note: for ingredients and ratios, please refer to this quiche recipe we have developed.
To get started on your quiche pastry, rub the butter into the flour using your fingers, until the mixture resembles wet sand. Then add in the rest of the ingredients like eggs and seasonings. Work fast or your butter will begin melting, slimming your chances of getting a flaky and layered pastry.
Resting the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes is essential, because it allows for gluten proteins to relax and the butter to return at its solid state. When the dough is properly chilled, it won’t shrink during baking and the butter will be able to puff up the pastry layers instead of simply melting out of the crust.
Don’t skip this step! Partially pre-baking the naked crust is a great technique to avoid the bottom of the quiche from becoming soggy, or worse, remaining uncooked. This is because once the sides and bottom of the pastry are set, they will be less likely to absorb extra moisture from the egg mixture.
To blind bake, poke some holes in the bottom and sides of the crust to prevent puffing up, then place it in the oven for about 20 minutes until it turns a pale golden colour.
To make the egg filling smooth and custardy, make sure to whisk your eggs vigorously for a few minutes, then add the cream and mix again. Be careful not to overbeat the eggs or the resulting filling will be spongy and dry.
To enhance the flavour of your fillings it’s best to cook them beforehand. This will not only ensure that they are well caramelised but also that they are fully cooked through, especially in the case of fish and meats. Watery veggies like tomatoes and zucchini will also benefit from being pan fried or grilled before being added to the mix. In any case, let the fillings cool down before mixing them with the egg custard or it will cook unevenly.
There are so many delicious quiche options out there! Whilst the classic version only includes bacon or lardons, you can use pretty much any ingredient that takes your fancy. A few tasty flavour combinations include:
If you want to have a go at a tried and tested recipe, our bacon and leek quiche featuring the Everything Eggs Blend is finger-licking good!
Baking time for quiches may vary based on the pan size, but a good rule of thumb is to check the firmness of the pie’s centre after about 40 minutes of baking. If it seems almost set and has a bit of a jiggle, it is ready to be taken out of the oven. The egg mixture will continue to cook due to residual heat. Once the quiche is cooled down, the centre will be perfectly set and custardy.
Quiche can be served warm or cold, but when it comes to cooling it down after it’s baked, let it sit at room temperature until set, instead of popping it in the fridge. This will avoid the custard separating from the crust edges or weeping.