She was tired, exhaustion rampant in the joints of her body, the long term effects of the manual churning of butter for tomorrow’s breakfast. Tucking a strand of hair under her bonnet and passing a longful gaze over a hazy sky, her feet measured out lazy steps on a wild grass path casually carrying her back towards the farm. Her husband spent the mourning chopping wood for the hearth, the kids fed the horses, chickens and other asundry livestock of country life, laughter echoing on the wind. Fires to stoke, clothes to mend, and with evening’s descent, dinner to prepare.
Picking up a weather worn basket, she randomly filled it with freshly laid eggs, a rasher of bacon smoking in the larder, and spring onions from the garden. All recipes begin as thoughts languidly sketched on the turning pages of the mind’s eye. A taste savored long ago. A trifle after a rough day. A treat for celebrations. Skimming rich cream from the top of the milk pail, she completes the circle and heads for the kitchen.
In this culinary reverie of mine, medieval times call for unenlightened fare. Food is sustenance…energy. Ingredients are generally sourced as locally as the family farm. Dishes are often transportable, history’s antiquated cousin to modernity’s fast food. Meals translated into robust fair flexible enough for serving either hot or cold – the net result of a physical day spent on your feet from dusk til dawn.
Historically, it appears quiche was baked with a bread based crust. My best educated guess being that bread was always on hand in the food bin and flour was probably a fairly expensive, difficult ingredient to obtain. Additionally, it should be noted that cheese is a modern addition to quiche presumably because it wasn’t always available locally.
As with all French food, there are technical variances to be considered for proper categorization. Quiche is any pastry featuring a mixture of eggs and cream baked in a crust. With the addition of bacon (and cheese in modern times), it becomes a Quiche Lorraine. Going one step further, the addition of onions transforms the dish into a Quiche Alsacienne. Since this version features bacon, English Cheddar and scallions, it sits halfway in between a Lorraine and an Alsacienne.
- 1/2 recipe of handmade all-butter pie crust, prepped and chilled per instruction
- 1 slice of bacon, diced
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon half-n-half
- 1½ tablespoons grated English Cheddar
- 1 scallion, white and green parts only, diced
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- English Cheddar, for decoration
- A 5" round (8oz) crème brulée dish
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Gently flour your work surface. Roll out and shape the pie crust to fit a 5" round (8oz) crème brulée dish. Dock with a fork and parbake for 5-7 minutes until pale golden in color. Set aside to cool.
- Next, slice the bacon and fry until golden brown in color. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, half-n-half, white parts of the scallion and the English Cheddar. Season to taste. Gently fold in the bacon and pour into the parbaked crust.
- Top with English Cheddar and the green parts of the scallion.
- Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown in color and a cake tester at the center of the quiche comes out clean. Serve warm fresh from the oven!