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If there is one meal for dinner I absolutely devoured as a child, it was the quiche my mother would make filled with bacon, vegetables and of course, don’t forget the buttery, flaky crust.
As David Lebovitz reminds readers in his new memoir, L’appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home, quiche became so ubiquitous in the states during the eighties and early nineties, that many sadly equated it as “foofy French food” (clearly, I didn’t pay attention or get the memo). However, David points out that “it’s sold by the wedge in French bakeries and served in working class cafés . . . it is anything but girly, or stuffy”. Thankfully, he offered his talents with his new recipe, and I can attest, it is scrumptious and yes, we are seeing the quiche make a wonderful return to menus in restaurants and bakeries around the country.
Be sure to tune in to my interview with David on The Simple Sophisticate (episode #182) where we talk about his new book and much more about the French culture, food and life lessons learned thus far through his tumultuous journey of buying and renovating his new apartment in Paris (it will go live on the blog, iTunes and Youtube early Monday November 7th).
Now to the recipe (see below)!
David Lebovitz's French Quiche: Bacon, Green Peas and Tarragon
David's French Tart Dough
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil David uses Canola
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour (1 rounded cup or 160 grams)
- 1 cup thick cut bacon cubed
- 1 medium shallot minced (a substitute could be 3 scallions)
- 1 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream I used heavy cream
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard I prefer Maille mustards, and used their black truffle mustard
- a generous pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon chopped, but not too finely
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano grated
David's French Tart Dough
- Preheat the oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 Celsius).
- In a medium ovenproof bowl (I used my earthenware), combine the butter, oil, water, sugar and salt. Put the bowl in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and begins to brown around the edges.
- Wearing oven mitts or something to protect your hands, carefully remove the bowl from the oven. Put the flour into the bowl and stir it in quickly, until the mixture begins to bind and forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Remember not to touch the bowl as it is hot!).
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula to help it cool down.
- Once the dough is cool enough to handle (a couple of minutes), pat it into the mold with the heel of your hand (I was able to use a small spatula for most of this) and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the mold. Reserve a small piece of dough for patching any cracks (this will be done after you bake the crust.
- Using a fork, prick the dough all over, then bake the tart shell for 15 minutes, or until it's golden brown. To my delight, you do not need to blind bake this crust as it holds on its own.
- Remove the tart shell from the oven; if there are any sizable cracks, use bits of the reserved dough to fill them in, using your pinky to smooth and patch them.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until cooked through but not crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plat to drain. Wipe the excess fat from the pan and add the chopped shallot (or scallions). Cook over medium-high heat, stirring for 1-2 minute, until translucent. Add the peas, season with salt and black pepper, and cook for another minute or two. Remove from the heat.
- Now that the tart pastry has come out of the oven, scatter the bacon pieces over the bottom of the baked tart shell. Spread the peas and shallot over the bacon. Place the filled tart shell on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the heavy cream (or half and half), egg, egg yolks, mustard, cayenne, tarragon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Pour the egg mixture over the bacon and vegetables in the a tart shell, filling it to the rim of the dough. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top and bake the quiche until it no longer jiggles when you shake the pan and the top is beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature (it is also good as leftovers the next day).
- Pair with a simple green salad tossed with a classic vinaigrette and a glass of wine.
Variations: The tarragon can be replaced by the same quantity of chopped fresh chervil, dill, or chives. If you’d like to add some extra cheese, sprinkle 1/2 cup coarsely grated Swiss-style cheese, like Emmenthal, Gruyère, Comté, or Jarlsberg, over the bacon and peas before adding the egg mixture. To add a different flavor: make a mushroom quiche, replace the peas with 6 ounces sliced mushrooms, sautéed in butter with the shallot or scallions until cooked through and browned on the edges, about 5 minutes.
~Listen to my conversation with David on The Simple Sophisticate (episode #182).
~View more TSLL Recipes here.