Comeback Quiche

Quiche Lorraine contains a fusion of French and German traditions—and makes a lovely accompaniment to brunch.

I am fascinated by the language of food. A name can elevate a simple peasant dish to star status in the blink of an eye.

When I first heard the word “quiche,” it seemed like the sound a pie might make if it fell off the counter and onto the floor. Quiche Lorraine was a little more poetic, evoking the name of a region in Northeastern France that has been alternately French and German over the years; the name is derived from “kuche,” the local German dialect for cake.
This quiche recipe calls for a fusion of the traditions from Alsace and Lorraine, since it has bacon and onions in its rich custard along with Gruyere cheese. Also, instead of using regular half-and-half, you can substitute nonfat half-and-half to make a guilt-free version that looks and tastes much like the original.

Quiche Lorraine

6 slices bacon, diced
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or 1 1/2 cups
nonfat half and half)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
fresh ground pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese


1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Crust: Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until it forms pea-sized pieces. Pour in the ice water and stir with a fork until dough forms. Cover tightly and set aside for 30 minutes. Roll out and place in a 9-inch quiche pan. Fold over the edge and crimp. Dock the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Fry the bacon until crisp and remove to a plate. Drain all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat, and sauté the onions over medium heat until they are golden brown. Beat the eggs gently in a bowl, and whisk in the cream (or half-and-half). Add the spices. Put the bacon in the bottom of the prepared crust, and top with the grated Gruyere cheese. Pour in the egg mixture, and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees, and cook 30 minutes or until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.