How to Make the Perfect Classic Quiche, According to Legendary Chef Jacques Pépin (and His Mom)

A classic quiche dish.

We love a new viral dish as much as the next person (well, maybe a little more because we're constantly scouring the internet for the next big food thing), but sometimes what you really want is the very best version of a classic dish.

When it comes to classic dishes, particularly those with a French influence, it's hard to beat a Jacques Pépin recipe. The legendary chef, cookbook author, artist and founder of The Jacques Pépin Foundation has been an inspiration in and out of the kitchen for decades. And when spring rolls around, in addition to his simple butter-basted asparagus and a plate of his exceptional scrambled eggs (which are a year-round go-to), we look forward to making Pépin's classic quiche Lorraine.

The combination of eggs, cheese and bacon baked in a flaky pastry crust is a specialty of Lorraine, the region in northeastern France. Pépin's version is inspired by his mother's, but like any good cook, he's put a few of his own touches on the recipe over the years.

Before you start cooking, it's worth spending the 12 minutes to watch him make the dish in his home kitchen. As you know if you've ever seen him on TV, he has a very calming presence and infuses cooking lessons into every demo in a way that's casual and conversational and really makes you believe that you too can cook like a French chef.

And you know what? Maybe he's right. We suggest carving out a little time this weekend and giving his quiche Lorraine a try. (Maybe it's something your mom would like for Mother's Day? Hint, hint...) It's a simple recipe and with Pépin's tips and tricks it's an almost guaranteed success. Here's what you need to know.

Related: I'm Only Making Jacques Pépin's French-Style Deviled Eggs From Now On

How to Make Jacques Pépin's Classic Quiche Lorraine

The recipe is broken down into two components: the crust and the filling. Can you use storebought pie crust? You sure can! We're including info on Jacques' crust in case you'd like to make it (and because he has lots of good tips), but taking a shortcut here and there is totally fine. Do what works for you.

The Crust

Mind the butter. Start by cutting one stick of butter (1/2 cup; 4 oz.) into pieces. Cutting up the butter will make it easier to incorporate the fat with the flour, which is what you need for a flaky, crispy, buttery crust. Pépin calls for cold, but not frozen, butter, which is another tip to making a quick and easy crust that is easy to work with and that bakes up deliciously.

Use the right tools. To make things easier, Pépin makes the crust in a food processor. To do that, add 1 1/2 cups of flour to the food processor with a dash of salt, a dash of sugar and the cut up butter. Pulse all of the ingredients in the food processor until the butter is in very small pieces, then add 1/4 cold water. Pulse a few more times and see how the dough looks. It should be crumbly but will hold together when you pinch it. If that's not the case add another tablespoon of cold water and give the mixture a few more quick pulses.

When the dough is ready (crumbly but holds together when pinched), dump it out on a lightly floured counter or large cutting board and bring the dough together with your hands until it holds together and is ready for rolling. To make it easier to roll into a circle, shape it into a disk.

Get rolling. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough disk and start rolling with a rolling pin. Turn the dough (or the rolling pin) a quarter turn as you're rolling to help create a rough circle. It doesn't need to be perfect, but the closer you are to a circle the easier it will be to fit the dough into your tart pan. In the video, Pépin mentions that many pie crust recipes ask you to rest the dough, but he says this one can be used right away.

As you roll out the dough, you should see the bits of butter. "See all of those yellow dots?" says Pépin in the video. "That's the butter, which is important because when the butter is like that it melts in the dough and adds flakiness." Keep rolling until the dough is less than 1/4-inch thick and is a few inches larger than the tart pan (Pépin uses a 9 or 9 1/2-inch pan).

Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it into your tart pan. Using your hands, gently ease the crust into the pan so it's flush with the bottom and sides. Once it's in the pan, run the rolling pin across the top of the pan, which will cut off the excess dough (this is very satisfying to do, btw).

Do some pre-baking. Line the crust with parchment and pie weight (or uncooked rice or dry beans) or cut circles of tin foil (check out the video to see how Pépin does that) and layer two in the crust to keep it from puffing up as it bakes. Partially baking the crust before adding the filling will help prevent the dreaded soggy bottom (IYKYK). Pépin cooks the crust for 30 minutes at 400°.



The Filling

While the crust is baking, make the filling, which is a really easy process and much quicker to explain than the crust.

A speedy bacon trick. If you can believe it, Pépin likes to microwave bacon. I mean, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for us. He puts a few paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, adds about 5 strips of bacon, covers with a few more paper towels and then cooks it for 3 minutes. Check the bacon and cook for another minute if it's not crispy.

Whip up your eggs. Crack three eggs into a bowl and whisk them well. You don't want to see any stringy whites and the yolks should be fully broken up as well. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of half and half. Add some finely chopped chives, if you have them.

Layer it up. Once the crust is done baking (it should be brown on the edges and light golden in the bottom) let it cool slightly. Next, roughly chop the bacon and sprinkle it in the crust top with 1 cup of grated Swiss cheese. Ladle about half of the egg mixture into the crust, transfer the quiche to a baking sheet and put it in the oven. Slide the rack out a bit and pour the rest of the egg mixture into the crust. Pépin likes to add the final portion of the filling when the quiche is in the oven to prevent the filling from sloshing over the sides.

Bake! Bake the quiche until it's golden brown on top and doesn't wiggle when you gently shake it. It will be puffed when it emerges from the oven, but will deflate slightly as it cools, which is fine.

Eat! Let the quiche cool for about 30 minutes, then remove the outer ring of the tart pan, cut into wedges and serve. "Just the way my Mother used to do," says Pépin.

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