Tuesday, July 12, 2011
During my last trip to France I spent a glorious day at Giverny exploring Claude Monet's house and gardens. Since I am an avid gardener the impressionistic landscapes were my primary focus. Stepping out of Monet's house and ambling along the garden path was like walking through the Garden of Eden. The bursting colors of the flowers and their heavenly aromas were breathtaking. After many hours of experiencing this feast for the eyes, I naturally began to feel hungry and searched for a place to experience a feast of another kind...
I dined at the Ancien Hotel Baudy on Rue Claude Monet and had the most wonderful quiche lorraine tart. I used to love to make this quiche years ago when it first became popular in the United States. I promised myself to make quiche lorraine again once I arrived home and it has become my favorite thing to bake this summer. I usually double the recipe and make two tarts so that I can freeze one to heat up another time when unexpected family and friends pop in for brunch or supper. It is great for a light change when the summer grill needs a rest.
Here is my favorite easy recipe for quiche lorraine. All you need to do is make some couscous with pine nuts and dried cherries, toss a fresh garden salad on the side, and voila.... you have a delicious feast worthy of Claude Monet!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
8" pie pan
Quiche pastry (If you are in a hurry you can use a thawed frozen pie shell instead of making your own)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 lb. butter
4 egg yolks (save one egg white)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. salt
ice cold milk
Place the flour in a large bowl making a well in the center. Put the butter, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese and salt in the well. With your fingers work all the ingredients in the center into a smooth paste then work in the flour. Add a bit of ice cold milk to make the dough gather more easily. Shape dough into a ball and roll out on a floured surface until about 10" round. Line the 8" pie pan with the dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the quiche pastry with a fork. Brush on a little unbeaten egg white on the bottom then fill and bake as per recipe's directions.
4 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Blend all the ingredients together and set aside.
1 lb. bacon
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese
prepared 8" quiche shell
Fry bacon until crisp (I do mine in the microwave) drain and cut into 2" pieces. Slice the Gruyere cheese and fill the prepared shell with overlapping pieces of bacon and cheese. Pour in the custard and bake for 35 minutes.