The first time I had quiche lorraine, I wondered who “Lorraine” was and why she called the dish a “quiche.” Turned out that lorraine was not a name but a region in France, the name a modern adaptation of Lotharingia. The medieval Lotharingia, however, is not the same place that is known as Lorraine today. Lotharingia is now where Switzerland is.
Now that the lorraine part is clear, what is a quiche? Essentially, it is an custard enclosed in a pie crust. And that makes the quiche a savory egg pie.
The next obvious question is whether quiche lorraine originated from the Lorraine region of France. The quiche itself is of German origin although the German kuchen (from which the word quiche was derived) literally means cake.
But the quiche with bacon in it that we call quiche lorraine today seems to have its roots from the peasants of Lorraine. Yes, as chi-chi as it may sound today, quiche lorraine was, in fact, peasant food made with readily available ingredients in the village. And, back then, the custard was enclosed in bread, not flaky pie crust.
This ham and cheese quiche is quite similar to quiche lorraine. Instead of bacon though, I used homemade ham.
Probably the ideal tool for baking a quiche is a loose-bottomed pan. Any pie pan will do, however.
Recipe: Ham and cheese quiche
- pie crust dough (get the recipe — use only half the amount of ingredients)
- 1 c. of diced ham (mine was homemade)
- 1 c. of cubed cheese (I used sharp cheddar but you can substitute just about any cheese that you prefer)
- 2 tbsps. of roughly chopped onion (see tip)
- chopped herbs (dry or fresh; whatever combination you like)
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. of milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Roll out the pastry dough (see instructions here and here) and fit into an eight-inch pie dish.
- Toss the ham and cheese with the herbs then dump into the dough-lined pie dish.
- Crack the eggs into a bowl. Pour in the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
- Pour the milk-egg mixture into the pie dish. No need to stir anything after pouring.
- Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are set and the top is browned.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s), excluding the time for preparing the crust
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2 to 4