Quiche Lorraine and Tarte à l’Oignon

I’m totally psyched and nervous about tomorrow’s dinner service – my first taste of a real kitchen, serving real people. Yes of course it’s made by students and all, and we may not be at Ducasse levels yet, but it’s a LOT of food. We had a two and a half hour briefing session with the chef just to discuss the menu before we embarked on our quiches and tartes. Did I say I’m totally psyched?

All pumped up for the week after the briefing we got down to arranging the produce in the Garde Manger for the dinner and lunch services over the next two days. This is when my psyched-ness started deflating at a rapid rate. Whole ducks. If you’ve read about my experience last christmas with my crispy duck you’d understand my horror at the realisation that I will have to deal with WHOLE DUCKS. Heads on, organs intact. And not just one or two. Oh noooo….it’s a whole team. All naked, bright-eyed, cold and still. Chef shows us a demo on how to dress and debone the duck. It takes him less than 6 minutes. Daffy and I might not get done as quickly but hopefully by the time I’m down to his eighth cousin I’ll be going at Road Runner speed. *Fingers crossed*

The quiche lorraine and tarte à l’oignon have the same pastry shell: Pâte Brisée. It’s very similar to the apple tart pastry except that we used more butter. It was a dream to make as there’s just the one dough recipe for both, and the appareil (mixture) for each pie was very straightforward. But the big bummer was that we only had two ovens for the ten of us and we all worked at different speeds. So the oven door kept opening-closing-opening-closing-opening-not closing-opening-not closing and the temperature inside kept fluctuating. This spelt bad news for most of the quiches and tartes inside. Luckily my onion tarte came out almost perfect, except for the hack-job of pinching the outer rim into a pattern. My quiche lorraine however had an ugly gray-brown crust over the top, due to cooking too quickly at first, and the pastry dough on the inside wasn’t cooked through fully, possibly due to having more of a liquid filling and uneven cooking temperatures. Mildly upsetting, but my tarte a l’oignon more than made up for my limp quiche lorraine. Crusty, crisp base, with a sweet and savoury filling of bacon lardons, partially caramelised onions and cream and a topping of roasted onion rondelles.

Onion rondelles - tricky lil tricksters. One needs a trunk load of butter and relatively not too thick and not too thin slices. Say precisely 5mm.

Tadaaaa - Tarte a l'Oignon

Pâte Brisée

250g plain flour
5g salt
125g butter
1 whole egg
50ml water

1. Make a ring out of the flour on work surface. Crack in the egg, pour in some water, and mix egg and water well together. Sprinkle salt over the flour (not the egg, or else it will start curing the egg). Break up the butter in small chunks and spread around.
2. Knead in the flour together with the butter and egg mixture. Make sure not to overwork the dough (or else it’ll get too elastic and shrink upon baking) but see to it that there are no chunks or bits of butter or flour in the dough (get rid of any chunks/bits by frassage). If dough seems dry add in a bit more water.
3. Roll into a thick sausage shape and cut into half. Make balls out of each and flatten it slightly. WRap in cling film and reserve in fridge. One dough ball can be used for the quiche lorraine and the other can be saved either for the onion tart or any other savoury tart.
4. When ready to use, grease tart ring and lightly flour the work surface. Roll out the dough to a circle 2cm bigger in diameter than the tart ring. Lay pastry over the ring, push into the ring, and shape the rim. Reserve in fridge till ready to fill.

Quiche Lorraine

250g bacon lardons, roasted in butter, drained on paper
200g gruyere, grated
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
few nutmeg gratings
125ml milk
125ml cream
Salt and pepper

1. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt and pepper together (mixture known as appareil).
2. Layer the lardons on the pastry shell. Layer cheese over. Pour in the appareil. Be careful not to overflow as the quiche rises when baked.
3. Cook for 20 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C.
4. Pull quiche out of the oven. Carefully take off the ring. Place quiche on wire rack. Check the bottom for colour (if it’s cooked it should be a nice golden brown). Bake for another 5-10 mins depending on colour. Make sure the top does not form a brown crust by overcooking.
5. Pull quiche out of the oven. Brush egg white wash over the pastry rim and around the edges (this makes it shiny). Bake for 5 mins till pastry is nicely coloured. Cut in slices. Serve with a side salad for a top dinner.

Tarte à l’Oignon

250g bacon lardons, roasted in butter, drained on paper
2 medium white onions, cut into 4mm rings
1 large massive mahoosive white onion, sliced thin (emincer)
2 large knobs of butter
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
few nutmeg gratings
50ml milk
100ml cream
Salt and pepper

1. Heat the two knobs of butter separately in two separate pans. Sautee the onion rondelles delicately in one pan, and the sliced onions in the other till caramelised. Flip over the rondelles carefully with a spatula to make sure they don’t come apart when cooking both sides. Stir the sliced onions constantly so that they don’t burn.
2. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt and pepper together (mixture known as appareil).
3. Layer the lardons on the pastry shell. Layer sauteed eminced onions over. Pour in the appareil. Be careful not to overflow. Layer rondelles on the top in a pretty pattern and push into the appareil a bit (otherwise it may burn in the oven).
3. Cook for 20 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C.
4. Pull tarte out of the oven. Carefully take off the ring. Place quiche on wire rack. Check the bottom for colour (if it’s cooked it should be a nice golden brown). Bake for another 5-10 mins depending on colour. Make sure the top does not form a brown crust by overcooking.
5. Pull tarte out of the oven. Brush egg white wash over the pastry rim and around the edges (this makes it shiny). Bake for 5 mins till pastry is nicely coloured. Cut in slices. Serve with a side salad for a top dinner.

Comments
5 Responses to “Quiche Lorraine and Tarte à l’Oignon”
  1. Dylan says:

    I just need to say that I love your blog (having discovered it when trying to find a recipe to recreate Busaba’s calamari)…I wait eagerly for each new installment. Good luck tomorrow!

  2. Shmii says:

    Thanks Dylan🙂 Did you try out the Busaba recipe? Lemme know how you get on!

  3. Bapi says:

    Nice narration. Can we make this with chicken? perhaps so. And, you know what, it may be a smash.!

    I love your writing!
    BAPI

  4. Dylan says:

    Hey Shmii – tried out the recipe on Friday…think I need less ginger, and maybe some more salt, but it’s getting there. Oh, and I thought I’d cut the pieces small enough, but like you, I need to have another crack at that!

    dylan

  5. Shmii says:

    Bappi, I don’t think chicken would be too good in either a quiche lorraine or tarte a l’oignon. But you could deffo use the pastry base and make some other chicken quiches (a chicken curry one would be pretty good me thinks! i’ll try it out and let you know how that goes!).
    Dylan, did it taste busaba-ey? Have you tried it again since?

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