The old-fashioned quiche has been a bit forgotten. Not that it really ever went out of style in France and home cooks still do make them there but it’s regarded as rather ordinary. The ones to get though, are the high-crusted quiche with slightly crinkly top you buy by the slice in good bakeries. They’re excellent. When done right a quiche is the essence of luxury, again using the most common ingredients. I’ve tried quite a few versions of quiche over the years and besides the classic quiche Lorraine which stars and co-stars ingredients from my favorite food group: smoked bacon, cheese, cream and eggs, this one with the addition of Comté, sauteed wild mushrooms and slightly caramelized onions might be my favorite of all.
When it comes to quiche I’m pretty partial to bacon. Smoked bacon to be exact and a touch of nutmeg. It’s what gives it its character. I’m so freaking hungry. Call me a purist but I’m not a big fan of throwing in every tired vegetable from the fridge either. Make a soup instead. Let’s give quiche a chance, shall we? (Oh no I didn’t)
This is the best quiche recipe going. The dough and technique is based on Thomas Keller’s and is open to a myriad of variations. Seriously, it’s genius. There’s nothing complicated about it although it might seem a little daunting from reading the instructions but if you take it one step at the time and watch out for the things I’m going to point out you’ll do just fine.
Thing to remember:
- Read the instructions all the way before embarking on this journey.
- Use a 9′ inch / 2′ inch high pastry ring or spring form (cheesecake) pan.
- Make sure the butter in fully incorporated into the dough to avoid leaks.
- Give the dough a good long rest after making it, or it will shrink.
- Line the pastry ring and wrap the crust over the top of the ring.
- Keep the dough cold. After you line the pastry ring, chill the dough again.
- Use enough pie weights or dried beans to fill the crust to the top.
- Blend the quiche batter well to aerate it before pouring it into the crust.
- When the quiche is cold use a knife to break off the crust around the top.
Wild Mushroom, Smoked Bacon & Comté Quiche
- Serves 6
- Adapted and tweaked from Bouchon
For the pastry shell:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 8 tbs (4 oz) butter, unsalted, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water
- Canola oil to oil the pan
For the batter:
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
- 6 gratings fresh nutmeg
For the filling:
- 3 large sweet onions, preferably Vidalia
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned (chanterelles..)
- 1 clove garlic, finally chopped
- 1 lb double-smoked bacon cut into 3/8 inch lardons
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 3/4 cup Comté cheese, grated
For pastry shell:
- Combine 1 cup of flour and the salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mix on a low speed, add the butter to the bowl one piece at a time.
- When all of the butter is in, turn the mixer to medium, combining the flour and butter completely. Reduce the speed to low, add the remaining 1 cup of flour, and mix until just combined.
- Slowly drizzle the ice cold water into the bowl until the dough gathers around the paddle. It should feel smooth, not sticky.
- Now take the dough from the mixer, checking to see if any pieces of butter remain. If so, return and mix it briefly again. Pat the dough into a 7-inch disk and wrap in plastic. The dough must rest at least one hour in the refrigerator or else it will shrink as it bakes. You can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Brush the inside of a 9 x 2-inch ring mold with canola oil and place it on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Place the dough on a floured work surface and flatten it into a larger circle with a rolling pin or your hands. Roll the dough until it is about 14 inches in diameter. If the dough gets to warm and soft, put it back in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then try again.
- Wrap the dough around your rolling pin and carefully lower it into the prepared pan. Press it gently against the sides and bottom, and trim any dough that extends more than an inch over the sides. Reserve the scraps – these will be used to fix any holes or cracks in the dough. Fold the excess dough over against the outside of the ring to help prevent it from shrinking down the sides as it bakes. Check for cracks or holes in the dough, and patch as necessary. Put the shell into in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 20 minutes and reserve remaining dough scraps.
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place a rack in the center. Line the quiche shell with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights (or dried beans) filling the shell completely. Bake until the edges of the dough are slightly browned but the bottom is still light in color, 35 – 45 minutes.
- Remove the parchment and weights. Fill any holes in the dough with the remaining scraps, then return the shell to the oven. The bottom will turn a beautiful golden brown in 15 – 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, place on a cooling rack, and allow it to cool completely on the baking pan. Check again cracks or holes, and patch if necessary before filling with the quiche batter.
For the quiche batter:
- Put the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat until scalded ( when a skin begins to form on the surface). Allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Put 3 eggs, half the milk and cream mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 3 gratings of nutmeg in a blender and blend until light and foamy, about 30 seconds.
- This is the first layer of the quiche. Repeat the process with the rest of the ingredients to complete the quiche.
For the filling:
- Cut the onions in half and slice them thinly. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a stockpot and add the onion, the bay leaf and a good pinch of salt. Set the heat to medium and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat if necessary to get a light caramelization on the onions.
- Meanwhile, sauteed the mushrooms in a pan with the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and finish with garlic. Set aside to cool.
- Set the oven to 375’F and spread the lardons on a baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- Combine the onions, mushrooms, lardons and thyme on the baking tray and season once more with the remaining salt and pepper. Drain on paper towels.
To assemble and bake:
- Scatter half the Comte over the bottom of the shell. Top with half of the onion/bacon/mushroom/thyme mixture.
- Blend the quiche batter again to aerate it and pour it on top of the filling, to about halfway of the crust.
- Scatter the rest of the filling and the remaining Comte.
- Again, blend the rest of the quiche batter ingredients and pour over the filling to the top of the shell.
- Bake in the 375’F oven for 1 1/2 hour to 1 3/4 hour until the top of the quiche is golden brown and the filling set. Cool on a rack and refrigerate overnight.
- When the quiche is thoroughly chilled carefully trim the edge of the crust with a sharp knife. Remove the ring, cut slices and reheat in a 350’F oven for 15 minutes.