Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quiche Lorraine

When I was taking French in middle school and learning about French culture, one question on a test concerned the ingredients in quiche. I remember drawing on my knowledge from my mom’s famous tuna quiche and selected ingredients from a bank. My teacher marked it wrong because she said that tuna doesn’t go in quiche. Obviously she’d never had tuna quiche made by my mom. Oh, the injustice.


Much, much later, I decided to look into making a quiche that my French teacher would approve of. I’m pretty sure we learned about Quiche Lorraine so that’s what I went with.

When I made this last week, I started with leftover glazed ham 


and chopped it up.


I made a homemade pie crust and covered the bottom of it with the ham.


At this point, you’re supposed to cover it with Gruyere cheese, but Mexican-blend is all that I had. Totally not the same thing, but go with it.


Next, I turned to the onions. First, mince it up.


Then put it in a pan and work on caramelizing it.


The recipe said to go until they’re soft, but I went a bit farther and got some color in them. I wanted a nice, sweet flavor from caramelization and none of that oniony flavor or texture from undercooking them.

(When I was a child, I hated the flavor and texture of onions. I still don’t like raw onions, but my hatred of them then was extreme. My dad tried to open me up to them by explaining that when cooked, onions get soft and sweet. I knew, however, with the wisdom that children have, that he was just trying to trick me into eating them and I certainly wasn’t fooled. It wasn’t until much, much, much later that I realized that he wasn’t lying to me.)

Anyway, once that’s done, spread the onions on top of the cheese.


While the onions were cooking, I started the custard with some beaten eggs.


And added some salt and nutmeg.


And stirred it all up.


Put it on the stove and add hot milk. If you’re naughty like me, sneak in a little half-and-half (Okay, okay, so we were just about out of milk and I topped it off with half-and-half. Just a little bit naughty, then).


And keep heating and stirring until it thickens up a bit.


When you’re satisfied with the creaminess, pour it carefully into the pie shell on top of everything else.


If I remember correctly, this was too much liquid for a store-bought crust, but it was just about perfect for my homemade one.


I decided to crimp the edges after all. Totally not too late.


Pop it in the oven for wayyy longer than the 30 minutes that the recipe claims, and you’re good to go.




Great for dinner, even better for breakfast.

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