Saturday, August 8, 2009

Real Women Make Quiche

When I decided to make a quiche Lorraine from scratch this weekend - on the heels of opting not to cook a cheese souffle, as I couldn't convince anyone else to eat it with me - I had a strange affinity for the recipe. I couldn't figure it out exactly, though I do remember eating quiche regularly in the 70s (like every other North American on the planet). It wasn't until, midway through its preparation, while speaking with my mother on the phone, that she reminded me it was her "special dish" from days gone by.

My mother, a modern woman who eschewed baking in its myriad forms, actually scratched up pâte brisée routinely for her butterlicious crust. The things we forget! (Of course, somehow I haven't forgot her ill-fated savoury rutabaga experiment that was amongst the top 10 most repulsive culinary experiences of my life, but there you go. Call me glass half empty.)

I found the recipe in Julia Child's French Chef Cookbook, a fine archive of her PBS TV work in the 60s and 70s. You know how top of mind she is these days... What I love particularly about the woman is the way, utterly uncomedically, she advises about the light qualities of a dish made exclusively with butter, heavy cream and bacon! Oh, and she suggests that it's "quick and easy" - which apparently means it takes nominally less long than crossing the Bering Strait on a sunny day in June.

In fact, when I told my mother I was in the middle of baking the quiche, the first thing she said was: "that's not an fast meal". And that's how we got on the topic of her quiche expertise.

Here are a couple of shots of the finished product:

Scott and M were out for the day so I got to enjoy it solitary-style - with UK Harper's Bazaar!

My review: While not the best quiche I've ever eaten, it was certainly a success I'll build on in the future. I feel I could have salted the eggs more and cooked it 5 minutes longer, but you live, you learn. I certainly noted the absence of subtlety and that something, hallmarks of my mother's quiche. Funny how visceral memory works. Gives you something to strive for.


  1. Oh noes! Now I have a B-52s song stuck in my head.

  2. OMFG....did we get separated at birth??? I made quiche for Sunday lunch!!!!

    That's some freaky non LSD assisted shiz.

    Next time I gay up in the kitchen, I'll try Julia's suggestion of adding cream.

  3. you are such an inspiration... quiche... yum!

  4. wow! well done, anything involving pastry looks so difficult.

  5. What a gorgeous Dining Room you have! and I love quiche, well done on your attempt, I never use a recipe - just throw it all in!

  6. well i would LOVE to try it! quiche is such a treat! and i usually just resort to the frozen quiche at trader joe's, but methinks your quiche would be a million times better!

  7. When I make quiche( and I do a lot as it is a super fast meal) I use frozen pie crust. It is a mix, dump and bake dinner at my house. Julia would not approve of my recipe.

  8. I love quiche, and I make my own crust, but I have been known to make an extra crust and freeze it have in "a pinch". Quiche is also much better left over than souffle.

  9. Wendy: I am truly sorry.

    Thanks Monkey!!

    Mattie: How gay can you be if you don't make your quiche with cream? I mean, really! :-)

    Jennine: Wow, what a lovely comment. Thanks!

    Pink: I know. Makes your guest all oooh-y. :-)

    Fab: Thanks. Did you note the new seat covers on the chairs? And I have this theory that English people make the best quiche. Is that racist? :-)

    Droll: That quiche is good, actually. But homemade is even better.

    Bel: It's a smart way to make it in under 4 hours! Do you blind bake the crust first?

    Mardel: It really is! I made extra crust and froze. Stupidly, I rolled it out before I remembered I didn't need 2 crusts so I folded it between parchment and I hope it's going to work the next time I try to use it.