Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gerard Depardieu's Quiche Lorraine

Quiches were always my thing, and I used to happily make the pastry from scratch. Then laziness takes over and you just buy the frozen stuff. But I've always hated it; even with the most patient blind baking, the pastry always tastes stale or soggy.

Fresh pastry is just so good. Crumbly, buttery, warm. Irreplaceable. And so quick and easy to make. It feels like too-hard-basket but try it once, and you'll see that such little effort is so worth it.

With my excitement over my new Gerard Depardieu cookbook still kicking, and some smokey bacon in the fridge, I couldn't wait to make his Quiche Lorraine.

"I like my Quiche Lorraine with onions but the
authentic recipe does not contain them.
I wonder what you think..." page 58
Dear Gerard,
I like Quiche Lorraine with onions too.
Quiche Lorraine (adapted from Gerard Depardieu, My Cookbook), serves 4
2-3 small-medium onions, sliced into medium strips
250g smokey bacon, sliced into lardons
100g Comte or Emmental, grated
5 eggs
100g creme fraiche
500mL milk
Pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper
Shortcrust Pastry
250g plain flour, sifted with a pinch of salt, plus extra flour to dust
1 egg
140g softened butter, cut into cubes
200mL water (I think Gerry may have been on the gear as 60mL was plenty and consulting my French by Damien Pignolet cookbook he also uses 60mL of iced water)
For the pastry
Place the flour/salt in a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it. Add the butter and mix with your fingertips. Add the water a little at a time until the mixture forms a slightly elastic dough. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 12 hours (this seems long, Damien Pignolet says 20 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter a deep quiche dish. Unwrap the dough and roll it out onto a lightly-floured work surface. Roll out the pastry and place onto the quiche dish. (Gordon Ramsay says to roll out pastry so it hangs over the edge and you can trim it after it's baked - this is a great tip as the pastry will shrink while blind baking). Line with baking paper and weights/beans and blind bake for 10 minutes.
Sweat the onions in a little butter. Gerard says to blanch the bacon for 5 minutes but I didn't. When the onions become translucent, add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes. In a bowl, mix the eggs, creme fraiche, milk, half the grated cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the onions and bacon.
Take out the pastry from the oven and remove the paper and weights. Pour in the filling, top with the rest of the grated cheese. Bake from about 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden but the filling should remain soft.
My new quiche pan with loose base is very good and makes serving so much easier, but it is not deep enough. Make sure you use a deep pan so you get plenty of soft, luscious filling.


Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

Mmmm... This sounds fab, Julia! Glad you're enjoying Depardieu's book. I used to work down the street from his 2 restaurants in Paris, on la Place Gaillon, but I've never had the pleasure of eating there. So many restaurants to choose from, so many choices -- how can one fit them all in?!

I've made a pâte brisé a few times myself, and it's so funny, because I've managed to do it well on one or two occasions, but then other times I totally screwed it up. I don't know what it is about me -- whether it's my mood or just my approach. But I agree that homemade pastry is SO much better! It's definitely worth the effort (at least if it turns out well).

10:54 PM  
Blogger eurobrat said...

Ha, my current homme (a chef) is making Quiche Lorraine for me this week. Perfect timing to read this post!

You sound like a formidable (and fashionable) cook.

6:26 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Late bloomer - thanks for commenting! As for choice, it is so hard in any place, let alone Paris; half the time I try new places, but half the time I go back to old faithfuls because I can't decide where to go next, or because they are just so good...

With pate brise, maybe temperature has something to do with it, and definitely ovens can be finnicky, but baking especially is so temperamental and the outcome definitely depends on our moods, I'm so glad you pointed that out as that's what I believe too.

Eurobabe, lucky you - a chef for a man is a very good thing to have... :-)

9:28 AM  
Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Would you believe i spotted this on Monday at Basement Books near the Devonshire Street Tunnel? It's going for a song at $18 but I guess you didn't really want to hear that...

2:41 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Ah, Helen, see http://relookage.blogspot.com/2007/02/first-catch-your-are.html

2:44 PM  
Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Oh brill! I had a look this morning and they are $11.95

10:34 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

Goodness, they will be giving them away! Definitely worth it - it's published by Conran and well, everyone knows I love Conran!

10:39 AM  

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