Saturday, March 19, 2011

Real Men eat Quiche

Any man would love a slice, surely?

 Ahhh quiche.  That perennial favourite of the summer bbq at the beach.  There's always one wife, mother, auntie, grandmother that has put together an eggy edifice for all to enjoy.  Always one of the ladies....

It's one of those urban legends that real men don't eat quiche.  A topic well covered in the bestseller from the 80's  by American Bruce Feirstein 'Real men don't eat Quiche'.  As wikipedia describes it ....

'A 'traditional' male might enjoy egg-and-bacon pie if his wife served it to him; a quiche-eater, or Sensitive New Age Guy would make the dish himself, call it by its French name quiche, and serve it to his female life partner to demonstrate his empathy with the Women's Movement. He would also wash up afterwards.'

I'm known in many circles for my masculinity.  At the crochet and flower pressing society I'm always the first one asked to open the jam jars.  So I thought why not test that masculinity, pause the Twilight movie and get cooking some quiche.

Before I put my apron on let's set some things straight.  This isn't going to be that tough eggy thing with whatever was left in the fridge in it, that you're used to.  I'm going to create the classic Quiche Lorraine. Top quality bacon set in a perfectly cooked creamy savory custard.  All set into a short pastry that needs to be both buttery and crumbly.  To give it a slight twist I'm going to throw in some slow cooked thyme flavored shallots to line the pastry, giving the quiche an extra dimension.


For the Pastry:
  • 175g Plain Flour plus extra for dusting
  • 115g Butter, Cold and Diced.
  • 25g Parmesan cheese (optional), finely grated.
  • Pinch of salt.
  • 4-6 Tbsp of Iced Water
 For the Filling:
  • 300g Good Quality Bacon
  • 6 Shallots
  • A few Thyme Leaves
  • 200g Gruyere Cheese (you can substitute with a cheddar or your favorite hard cheese)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml Cream
  • Salt and Pepper
For the cook:
  • A little extra bacon and a nice cold beer or glass of Pinot Grigio

To make the Pastry
  1. To make the pastry sift the flour and the salt into a large mixing bowl.  Add the cold diced butter and rub it into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  This should take about five minutes
  2. Stir in the grated cheese then add enough of the water to bind the mixture into a dough.  This varies a little but usually uses the full 6 Tbsp.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and then pop in the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.  During this time you can prepare the filling.
  4. Once the Pastry has rested remove from the fridge and then leave for a few minutes to warm slightly which will make it easier to roll.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface and then roll out the pastry into a circle until it is about 3mm thick.  When using your rolling pin always roll forward, not backward.  To get the pastry in a circle roll forward three times, then turn the pastry 45 degrees and roll another three times.  Repeat this process until pastry is desired thickness.
  6. Roll the prepared pastry onto your rolling pin and then unroll it over a 23cm/9 inch quiche tin as seen in the picture.
  7. Press the rolling pin over the tin which should cut off the extra pastry.  Otherwise use a knife.  Roll a bit of the pastry into a ball and then press the lined pastry into the tin, making a nice snug fit.  
  8. Prick the pastry about six times with a fork and then place the tin into the fridge for about 10-15 minutes.  This lets the pastry rest after you have worked it and prevents the case from shrinking when it is cooked.  
  9. While you're waiting preheat the oven to 180 C.  Take the pastry out of the fridge and then line with baking paper.  Fill the baking paper with blind baking weights (little ceramic balls) or if you don't have these you can use uncooked rice or beans. 
  10. Cook for about fifteen minutes until starting to colour.  Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper with weights.  
  11. Place the case back in the oven for a further 7 minutes to cook through.  
  12. To finish the case brush a beaten egg yolk onto the pastry and cook for a further minute.  This protects the pastry from the wet custard that you are going to put into the case.  Turn the oven down to 160 degrees.

For the filling:
  1. Peel and slice the shallots.  
  2. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan on a low heat and then add the thyme and shallots.  Cook the shallots slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again so they don't burn, and then leave to cool down.
  3. Cook the bacon until crispy and then slice into small pieces.
  4. Combine the eggs and cream in a bowl and then whisk.  Season with salt and pepper.
Put it Together
  1. Line the cooked pastry case with the cheese, then shallots, then bacon.
  2. Fill the pasty case almost to the rim and then place into the oven.  Then fill the pastry case to the top with the rest of the cream mixture
  3. Cook for about 25-30 minutes until the custard is set.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least ten minutes before removing from the pastry tin.  You can then either leave it to cool down or eat hot.
  5. Serve with a nice light salad or take it along to your next manly BBQ instead of a piece of steak.  Go on I dare you.. 


  1. Nice looking pastry bro! I'm gonna have to experiment with some olive & coconut oil to see if I can come up with an acceptable lactose free alternative :) Ever tried an oil/lard based short crust?

  2. Thanks bro! Nope, I'm a lactose lover so haven't given that a go. I think I might be lost in a world without cream! Let me know how you get on!