Quiche Lorraine Recipe Showdown | Kitchn

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When I was growing up, my mother worked part-time in a tea shop, where she made quiche after quiche day after day. She was known around town as “the quiche lady” and I was frequently lucky enough to eat a slice or two. Over the years, I’ve eaten quiche from French cafés and made many of my own, and I continue to love the dish for its all-day appeal. Let’s just say that I have thoughts about quiche.

If I say the word quiche, what’s the next word you think of? Most people promptly answer “Lorraine,” arguably the most popular form of the dish. Named after a region in France, quiche Lorraine originally combined salty pork like lardons or bacon with a simple egg custard in a pastry shell. As the years went by, cooks added onions and cheese to the mix to make the quiche Lorraine we know today.

When picking my top contenders for this quiche Lorraine head-to-head, I first thought about what qualifies as a quiche Lorraine. Clearly it required a bottom crust and an egg and dairy custard as well as bacon, pancetta, or lardons. Most of the options I looked at also contained the characteristic onions and Swiss or sometimes Gruyère cheese, but considering the dish’s roots, I didn’t make these ingredients a strict requirement. Personally, I like a smooth, creamy custard with savory bacon flavor and a crisp crust. It should also have a nice balance of textures and flavors.

Meet Our 4 Quiche Lorraine Contenders

After considering what I was looking for, I did my research. I looked to the internet, cookbooks, friends and family — anywhere and everywhere that might have quiche intel. I wanted all classic recipes, nothing too far outside of what we’d all agree is a quiche Lorraine, but with some distinct differences.

Le Pain Quotidien’s Quiche Lorraine is packed with ham, cheese, and slow-cooked leeks, and the filling is thick and creamy, thanks to plenty of sour cream. It’s a rich one. This is the only recipe that doesn’t require you to par-bake the crust, which was appealing from a time-saving standpoint.

Betty Crocker’s Quiche Lorraine skips cooking the onions and instead has you add finely chopped raw onion directly to the quiche. While less complex, it adds a nice texture and saves time. This is the easiest of all four — especially if you skip the homemade shortening crust.

Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine leaves off the onion and cheese, resulting in a minimalist dish. Would the simplicity of the recipe — and the magic that is Julia — help this one rise to the top?

Vallery Lomas’ Quiche Lorraine uses a homemade or store-bought pie crust and bakes it in a cake or springform pan, which was intriguing. The quiche looked and sounded delicious, like an elevated but easy version of the classic.

How I Tested the Quiche Lorraine Recipes

I made one quiche at a time, two the first day and two the next. I used the same all-purpose unbleached flour and organic eggs for each, as well as the same bacon and the same Swiss cheese (where called for). While I was tempted to use Gruyère in Lomas’ recipe (which offers a few cheese options in the ingredient list), I didn’t want to be swayed by that ingredient swap. I mean, I really like Gruyère cheese, so there’s a chance her quiche would have won based on that alone.

I tasted each quiche after cooling for several minutes, then again once they were at room temperature.

1. The Best Crust: Le Pain Quotidien’s Quiche Lorraine

The French fast-casual chain’s quiche Lorraine takes a maximalist approach with ham, Swiss cheese, and caramelized leeks and onions. I found it a bit too rich and busy for my taste, but I’m saving the crust recipe. It’s easy and doesn’t require blind baking but still ends up wonderfully crisp.

2. The Easiest: Betty Crocker’s Quiche Lorraine

Betty Crocker can be counted on for the classics, and quiche Lorraine is a classic. This simple recipe skips cooking the onions, opting for finely chopped raw onions instead. The result is sweet bits of onion that have lost their raw bite but still have a bit of crunch. Plenty of bacon and cheese do their part to create a tasty quiche. The only downside was the homemade shortening crust recipe, which lacks flavor and didn’t crisp as well as I’d hoped.

3. For the Purist: Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine

When it comes to classic French food, you can’t go wrong with Julia Child. This recipe is more traditional, leaving out the onions and cheese. It’s baked in a tart pan instead of a pie pan and calls for just a few main ingredients: eggs, cream, and bacon. The resulting quiche is unlike any other on this list — instead of being filled with flavorful onions and cheese and meat, the focus is on the eggs and cream, punctuated by salty bacon. 

It’s creamy and custardy and kind of dreamy, but it might not satisfy you if you’re looking for the quiche Lorraine we know and love today.

4. The Clear Winner: Vallery Lomas’ Quiche Lorraine

Lomas’ quiche has all of the key elements: a creamy custard, sautéed onions, crispy bacon, and melty cheese. By baking it in a cake pan, the crust gets nice and crisp and creates more room for the filling. Lomas graciously includes plenty of ways to tweak the recipe — including using a store-bought pie crust — which makes the dish especially versatile. 

This quiche Lorraine ticks all of the boxes. It’s an elevated version of the classic dish but it’s not overly complicated. It’s an easy recipe to make that produces superior results, and is sure to steal the spotlight at your next brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Laurel Randolph

Contributor

Laurel is a food writer, recipe developer, and editor. She is the author of four cookbooks, one of which was a #2 best-seller of 2017.





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