Hearty, silky quiche Lorraine based on the recipe from Bon Appetít.
For the crust
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 C all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- 5 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp chilled lard or shortening
For the filling
- 8 oz thick-cut smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3½ C half-and-half
- 8 large eggs (best if left to come to room temperature)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 oz Gruyère, finely grated
Prepare and blind-bake the crust
- Combine the 2 C flour, the salt, and the sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Whiz together. Cut the chilled butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture. Pulse the processor until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
- Drizzle 6–7 Tbsp ice water into the processor while it’s running. Pulse until the dough is crumbly and holds together when squeezed.
- Knead the dough a few times on your work surface. Press it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (191°C).
- Roll out the dough to a 14″ round, place it in a deep 9″ pie dish, tuck it into place, fix any tears, and crimp the edges.
- Line the crust with parchment paper, fill it with pie weights (dried beans or rice also work great!) and bake about 25–30 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown.
- Remove the pie weights and parchment, then continue baking until the center starts to brown, about 15 more minutes.
- Let the crust cool.
Make the filling
- While the crust is chilling or baking, work on the filling.
- Place the sliced shallot, the bacon, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, and butter in a pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter is bubbling. Turn the heat down to low and cook everything slowly until the shallots are soft and the bacon is browned somewhat.
- Let the mixture cool somewhat, remove the thyme sprig and bay leaf, then strain the fat out. (I recommend saving that seasoned butter/fat for other uses!) Set the bacon/shallot mixture aside.
- Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan until it just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Heat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Put the eggs in a blender and blitz until frothy. Add the salt, cayenne, nutmeg and half-and-half, and blend until smooth.
- Put the pie pan with the crust on a rimmed baking sheet (in case any filling spills over). Put all the cheese in the bottom of the pie crust, spreading it evenly. Spread out the bacon/shallot mixture on top of the cheese.
- Place the pan on the oven middle oven rack, and pour in the egg mixture. (Pouring it in while the pan is on the oven rack helps prevent spills on the way to the oven.)
- Bake. Start checking the temperature in the center of the quiche with your Thermapen at about 55 minutes. It may take as long as 75 minutes to get up to 165–185°F (74–85°C). The center will still seem somewhat jiggly.
- Remove the quiche from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature on a wire rack on the counter. Refrigerate, or serve once cooled. (If serving tomorrow morning, take it out of the fridge an hour or so before serving so it can come up to room temperature.)