My classic Quiche Lorraine with Homemade Thyme Pastry combines a lovely short and buttery crust with salty bacon, smooth melty cheese and the most delicious and delicate eggy custard filling. Its a mystery how pastry, eggs and bacon can be so light but trust me, this quiche is stunning!
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Whilst I’ve made many quiches over the years, this version which I learnt at Denman College is by far the most refined. It even totally changed my opinion that all pastry should be puff pastry!
Ok, actually puff pastry is still one of my favourites, especially when its my homemade Puff Pastry (also learned at Denman). But I do now sometimes make my Bacon, Mushroom Quiche with this thyme shortcrust pastry. I love the subtle herb flavour which just adds a little something extra but which doesn’t take away from the other flavours of the quiche filling.
Make Quiche Lorraine into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Quiche can make a surprising but perfect addition to a brunch feast. After all, what is more brunch suitable than bacon and egg?
On top of that it is brilliant to take on a Picnic Feast. Think Scotch Eggs, Sausage Rolls and packed Sesame Bagels. Throw in some Creamy Coleslaw, cold Honey Maple Wings and Whole Orange Choc Chip Muffins along with a little salad and maybe some crisps for a classic spread.
Ingredients for Quiche Lorraine with Homemade Thyme Pastry
It must be good and cold. It should also be proper hard butter, not the spreadable kind or soft margarine. My easy Homemade Butter would be perfect.
Dairy free baking block can however be substituted. You could also use lard but the buttery taste is preferable in a delicate recipe like this.
Adding the thyme to the pastry mix before rubbing in means that the leaves will get rubbed along with the butter. This releases the natural oils and increases the herb flavour throughout the pastry. You can really taste the difference here.
You could you half the amount of dried thyme but the overall flavour won’t be as good. (just leave it out).
There are effectively 4 main types of bacon in the UK. Back bacon and streaky bacon with each being available smoked and unsmoked.
I am largely an unsmoked back bacon kind of girl and that is what I have used in this quiche. I believe that a smoky bacon would be too overpowering in this recipe but if that is all you have…go for it!
I actually interchangeably use emmental cheese or occasionally mozzarella. Any fairly mild and slightly melty cheese would work here.
I would advise against going for anything too strong as this would again overpower the other delicate flavours in the quiche.
Unlike my other, more robust, quiche recipe, this recipe uses whole milk rather than double cream.
The egg custard filling here is lovely, light and delicate so cream would just be a tad on the heavy side. Whole milk is just perfect to use.
I far more often than not try to encourage you to adapt my recipes and be as flexible as you can be with them. But this is one of those recipes that really would appreciate not too much variation.
However, you could change the herb in the pastry perhaps. Very finely chopped fresh sage would work well but use it sparingly or it will be less of a hint and too overpowering.
Make it Vegetarian
I think that if you double the cheese and leave out the bacon, you would have a wonderfully rich vegetarian quiche.
If you would rather put the vegetable in the vegetarian, I would recommend hard frying mushrooms in place of the bacon. Or substitute in fakeon.
Make it Vegan
I love to talk about the substitutions that you can make to my recipes to make them vegan friendly. Most of the time that’s quite easy to do but a Quiche recipe really does hinge on the eggs.
You can sub the cheese, sub the bacon and use plant-based milk but at the end of the day, I think you might just have to skip this one. Sorry!
Saying this, there are quiche like options available to you. Tofu can be used as a substitute for the egg like with this Simple Tofu Quiche from The Minimalist Baker. And if you make my pastry with baking block rather than butter, that is vegan.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: Substitute the flour in the pastry for a gluten free plain flour. The pastry is lovely and short and doesn’t rely on gluten in the flour so you should end up with a lovely super short pastry. The filling is naturally gluten free.
Dairy Free: Substitute the butter and cheese for dairy free versions and use a plant based milk instead of the whole milk. Jobs a goodun.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Quiche Lorraine
I almost solely use scissors to cut raw meat, especially bacon and chicken. A good heavy duty pair is an excellent addition to the kitchen utensil drawer. Make sure to pop them in the dishwasher with the blades open so that they wash properly.
I used to try to make a lovely delicate quiche in a pie dish or ceramic quiche dish. And whilst I always made a great quiche, since I invested (not much at all) in a thin metal quiche tin, my quiche game has gone to new levels.
The quiche tin is delicate. Picking it up when filled is churlish, especially when filled and even more so when you consider the removable base! It is therefore a really really good idea to place the tin on a sturdy baking tray.
A couple of years ago, I asked for a marble rolling pin for Christmas. I have not looked back. They’re not expensive but absolutely brilliant. I use the weight of the rolling pin to do the rolling rather than exerting great pressure on the pin.
A pastry brush is helpful to grease the quiche tin and brush away any excess flour. I roll out the pastry on a wooden board and use my flour shaker to give me a thin even layer of flour to roll out on.
I do most of my fine cheese grating using my microplane grater. It was a treat as they are not really cheap and a box grater will also do the job just fine. But once you’ve used a microplane, there is no going back.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
There are a few ways to get ahead of the game with this one, anything up to a few days before you need the quiche.
Firstly, you can make the pastry and leave it chilling in the fridge for a few days. Secondly, you can line the tart tin and then leave that chilling for a couple of days. You can also grate the cheese and fry the bacon and leave them tucked up in some tupperware in the fridge. I would not make the eggy mixture in advance however.
Once you have added the filling to the tart case, do not stop at that point! You want to get the quiche into the oven as soon as possible at that point or you will have extra soggy pastry!
The alternative is to fully bake the quiche then freeze it. Quiche freezes surprisingly well although this is a very delicate quiche and I would be inclined to freeze it whole rather than in portions. In halves might work ok!
Leftover Quiche Lorraine
This Quiche Lorraine stores great in the fridge for a good few days. And its so light, it will almost certainly be eaten in its entirely by then! I simply reheat my quiche in the microwave for a couple of minutes when I want a slice. You could also reheat in the oven.
If you have any leftovers that are unlikely to be gobbled up, just wrap them well and pop them in the freezer.
Quiche Lorraine with Homemade Thyme Pastry Tips
When rubbing the butter into the flour, give the bowl a shake to bring the larger lumps that need more rubbing to the top of the bowl. Science magic!
There is a surprisingly little water needed so go easy. If you do go too far, just add a little more sieved plain flour.
Unlike with my sweet tart pastry, this pastry case is not blind baked as the pastry would be burned before the filling is properly cooked.
Slice and serve with something dull and traditional like new potatoes and a side salad. Or just sit down, tear off pieces with you hands and eat the whole thing like I did! Or go on a picnic.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Quiche Lorraine with Homemade Thyme Pastry Recipe
- 270 g Plain Flour (All Purpose) - and extra for dusting
- 130 g Salted Butter - cold
- 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- Vegetable Oil - for greasing the tin
- 350 g Bacon
- 130 g Gruyere Cheese
- 650 ml Whole Milk
- 5 Egg
- 0.25 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 0.5 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
Make the Pasty
- Sieve 270g Plain Flour into a medium mixing bowl and add 130g Salted Butter cut into small pieces.
- Take the leaves off of sprigs of fresh thyme until you have roughly 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves. Add the thyme to the flour and butter along with 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes.
- Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add cold water to the flour mix 1 tbsp at a time. Mix thoroughly before adding more.
- Stop adding water as soon as the dough comes together when you scrunch it together.
- Lightly knead the dough on a clean surface for 20-30 seconds until smooth.
- Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Cook the Bacon and Line the Tin
- Whilst the dough is chilling, use scissors to cut 350g Bacon into small pieces directly into a frying pan.
- Fry the bacon to your preferred level of done-ness. I like mine quite lightly fried. Set the bacon aside to cool a little.
- Lightly oil a loose bottomed 25cm tart tin.
- Once the dough is fully chilled, unwrap it and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface.
- Aim for the dough to reach a size a little bigger than the tart tin, including the sides.
- Line the tin with the pastry by gently draping it over the top.
- Gently press the pasty right into the corners of the tin and grooves in the side.
- Trim the excess pastry away by rolling the pin over the top.
- Using your fingertips, gently ease the pastry up the sides a little to combat shrinkage.
- Pop the lined tin into the fridge to chill again whilst making the rest of the filling.
Assemble the Quiche
- Preheat the oven to 200c or equivalent.
- Finely grate 130g Gruyere Cheese and set aside.
- Combine 650ml Whole Milk, 5 Eggs, 0.25 tsp Cayenne and 0.5 tsp of Sea Salt Flakes in a mixing bowl.
- Take the tart tin out of the fridge and sprinkle the slightly cooled bacon over the pastry base.
- Sprinkle the grated gruyere over the bacon then place the tin onto a baking tray.
- Pour in the egg and milk mixture into the pastry case then (carefully) put in the oven.
- Check the quiche after 30 minutes, then every 5 minutes thereafter if the filling hasn’t nearly set.
- Leave to cool before taking the quiche out of its tin. Serve warm or cold.