How to make next level quiche Lorraine

Bake the perfect quiche Lorraine with our top tips. With crumbly pastry and a fluffy bacon filling, it's perfect for picnics, lazy lunches or summer parties.

Title and image for next level quiche Lorraine

Quiche has an unfashionable rep, and if it’s badly made or it’s been hanging around for too long then it loses its charm quickly. But if it’s made well and eaten fresh, it’s a dish that defines moreish and a recipe that’s filled with techniques the cook can be proud to have mastered. It still deserves its status as a summer classic.

We’ve given this dish a complete makeover in our best ever quiche Lorraine recipe. We’ve used a spiced cheese shortbread mix for the pastry, we’ve made the smoky bacon-flavoured filling lighter with a soufflé technique, and we’ve cleverly added a hint of mild onion without using any actual onions. We make no apologies for all the tweaks we’ve made to the traditional – this is an on-trend must-make quiche that’ll convert any sceptic. Bacon and eggs have never tasted so good.  

10 ways to take quiche Lorraine to the next level 

1. Homemade pastry 
2. Onion flavour without onions
3. The perfect tin
4. Making a good case
5. Smoked pancetta is better
6. Fat equals flavour
7. Three different cheeses
8. Twice the cream
9. Soufflé lightness
10. The right temperature    

1. Homemade pastry

Ball of pastry dough with Nigella seeds embedded

Crumbly pastry makes all the difference to this quiche – ours is flavoured with a cheese, onion and a hint of chilli. Shop-bought pastry is fine, but most of the time it isn’t made with butter, which is what gives it a moreish flaky savoury shortbread texture.

2. Onion flavour without onions

Plate of Nigella seeds next to a plate of chopped spring onions

Onion isn’t in a traditional Lorraine, and sliced, cooked onion can ‘drag’ the filling when you’re portioning a quiche, but its flavour works well with cheese and bacon. We’ve made it milder and added it in the form of nigella seeds in the pastry and spring onions in the filling.

3. The perfect tin

Fluted metal pastry case

For heat distribution, pastry that’s cooked properly and ease of releasing the quiche, your tart tin needs to be metal with a loose bottom. Our favourite choice is a carbon steel fluted tin that’s about 4cm deep. (We have no idea why ceramic quiche dishes even exist – they don’t do the job they were designed for. If you own one, ‘recycle’ it and go and buy a metal one.)

4. Making a good case

Pastry rolled into case with nigella seeds

We’ve gone to a lot of effort to think about the best way to bake a tart case that is leak-free and doesn’t crack while baking. Firstly, roll the pastry out slightly thicker, then push it right into the corners – this way it won’t be stretched, which means no cracks. Leaving an overhang and trimming once it’s cooked guarantees it won’t shrink and the pastry is flush with the rim of the tin.

5. Smoked pancetta is better

Frying pan with bacon lardons in oil

Whether you choose pancetta or bacon, a smoked variety will give you the most flavour. Pancetta is a drier cure than most bacon, which means it cooks without releasing as much liquid. Pre-diced ‘cubetti’ or bacon lardons make things easier, but nothing stops you chopping your own.

6. Fat equals flavour

Quiche Lorraine with creamy unbaked filling

We’ve made the filling richer and distributed the smoky flavour through the filling by incorporating the fat from the fried pancetta into the cream for the filling base.

7. Three different cheeses 

Grated, cubed and whole Parmesan cheese on a black plate

We’ve used three cheeses in this recipe for their different cooking attributes. Parmesan works best when making cheesy pastry, with diced oozy pockets of mature cheddar for its tangy flavour and grated gruyère as a nod to the original Lorraine (and for its melting properties). If three is one cheese too many, ditch the gruyère and just top the quiche with more cheddar.

8. Twice the cream

Crème fraîche in a glass pot

We used both cream and crème fraîche – the double cream is good for pouring into the pancetta pan and boiling up with the bacon flavour, and the crème fraîche brings a slight sour flavour that cuts through the richness of the filling.

9. Soufflé lightness

Whisk in a bowl of egg whites

We’ve taken the eggs, separated them and whisked up the whites, soufflé style, to puff up and lighten the filling.

10. The right temperature

Quiche Lorraine with slices cut out and one slice on a separate plate

With its pockets of cheese and its souffléd filling, this quiche is best eaten slightly warm or room temperature on the day it’s cooked. Chilled quiche is just a cold reminder of its former glory and gives quiche a bad name.

See the full recipe for our next level quiche Lorraine.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Ian William Johnson's picture
Ian William Johnson
5th Aug, 2018
There is no cheese (or onion) in a real quiche lorraine
4th Aug, 2018
Ditch the gruyère? No. You lose points for that.
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