This super easy Classic Quiche Lorraine with its creamy, tender custard filling, ribbons of thinly sliced prosciutto and crisp, flaky super-easy crust is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner and makes fabulous leftovers! The crust is a refrigerated store-bought crust but we include a few tricks to make it look and taste like homemade, no blind baking needed!
Everyone needs a great Quiche Lorraine recipe in their culinary repertoire. Here at The Café, we love quiches with lots of wonderful veggies and add-ins, like our Easy Zucchini Summer Quiche. But the simplicity of a good Quiche Lorraine, with its streamlined list of ingredients and straightforward instructions, always blows us away with the first delicious bite.
What is Quiche Lorraine?
Quiche Lorraine has an interesting history. While often thought to be a classic French recipe (you'll find it on the menu of restaurants and bistros all over France), it actually has German origins. According to Regions of France, authentic quiche Lorraine started in Germany as "an egg custard pie baked in a brioche pastry (with eggs), not the typical shortcut pastry that's popular all over France."
Lorrain is a region in northeast France that borders Germany. So it seems the popularity of this delicious savory pie spread throughout the area and at some point, it was given the official name. The rest is delicious history.
It's also intriguing to note that authentic, French Quiche Lorraine does not contain cheese. Instead, it's a simple custard of eggs and cream that is filled with bacon lardons. Modern classic renditions now incorporate Gruyere or Swiss cheese, bacon and sometimes onions. My version, as you might guess from the title of this post, includes prosciutto, a delicious, thinly sliced, dry-cured Italian ham.
Why use prosciutto?
You might be wondering why I would use an Italian ham in a classic French quiche. Well, besides the fact that it's popular right now to serve fusion cuisine (a mix of nationalities), there are actually a number of other reasons. First of all, prosciutto is just plain old delicious. It's salty like bacon but has a more complex flavor and, when thinly sliced, a texture that almost melts in your mouth.
I have to admit, I also love to use prosciutto because I'm
a little lazy. Bacon needs to be fried, which takes time and makes a mess. Prosciutto is ready to eat or use in recipes like this just the way it comes home from the market. So putting together a Quiche Lorraine with prosciutto in lieu of bacon makes things quick, easy and so...delicious.
The last (and perhaps least important) reason for using prosciutto in my quiche is that it just sounds kind of fancy. And when serving guests it's just kind of fun to be fancy. Particularly if you let the word prosciutto (pronounced like this) roll off your tongue, right? It also gives a pretty presentation to the quiche as you can artistically tuck the thin-sliced ham into the custard and cheese filling.
What type of cheese to use for this recipe?
While quiche is made these days with just about any kind of cheese, if you want to make a classic Quiche Lorraine, there are a few guidelines. Quiche Lorraine is made with Gruyere (or sometimes Emmentaler) cheese. I highly recommend sticking with Gruyere as it adds a rich, flavorful dimension that you can't get with other cheeses.
That being said, Gruyere is expensive so I often use a combination of Gruyere and Swiss cheese for this quiche. I honestly don't notice a difference from using 100% Gruyere. If your grocery store has a cheese section, you can often find they sell blocks of cheese that are a combination of Gruyere and Swiss. And Trader Joe's as well as Aldi sells bags of Gruyere and Swiss, already grated.
A perfect anytime dish
Quiche is a wonderful option for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It's delicious with fresh fruit and scones (these Ridiculously Easy Sugar Top Scones are amazing)for a lovely breakfast or brunch but also makes a fabulous light lunch or dinner served with a simple green salad and some warm crusty bread or delicious dinner rolls.
Like most of our recipes, this Classic Quiche Lorraine with Prosciutto comes together quickly with minimal effort. It employs a refrigerated pie crust (and a few magic tricks) which makes things super easy.
Probably the most difficult step in this recipe is grating the cheese which actually only takes a few minutes. And if you have a Trader Joe's or Aldi nearby, as mentioned above, they have a delicious mix of grated Gruyere and Swiss which makes this quiche ridiculously easy.
Despite the fact that you can put this recipe together in less than 20 minutes (hands-on time) it makes a very impressive entree to serve to guests. You can make it ahead and it's delicious served warm or cold so you can’t even get that part wrong!
My daughter-in-law, Lindsay, made a video to show you just how simple this quiche comes together:
Pick up the ingredients next time you're shopping for this Classic Quiche Lorraine with Prosciutto. I think you'll find it's one of those recipes you'll be making again and again. I know I will! Bon Appétit!
Cafe Tips for making this Classic Quiche Lorraine
- Two important steps in this recipe, not to be missed:
- This quiche couldn't be easier to put together but to ensure a fluffy, tender custard filling, don't skip the step of straining the egg mixture into the pie shell. This will take a minute of extra time but you'll be shocked when you see the lumpiness that's left in the strainer. You'll need a fine-mesh strainer for this. A fine-mesh strainer isn't expensive but is an essential kitchen tool that you'll use again and again and will have for many years to come. I really like this reasonably priced fine-mesh strainer set.
- The second critical but simple step is to make sure to bake the quiche on the lowest shelf of your oven on a HOT sheet pan that's been preheating in the oven. Many quiche recipes call for an additional step of blind-baking the crust before adding the filling. Blind baking means lining the unbaked crust with foil, filling the foil with beans, rice or pie weights, then baking (sometimes twice) and cooling before filling. Baking the quiche on the lower shelf, on the super-hot sheet pan, ensures that the bottom crust will get nicely browned without the pain-in-the-neck step of blind baking.
- This Quiche Lorraine recipe calls for a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. This type of pan makes a really pretty presentation as you can remove the quiche from the pan to serve. You could also use a regular size pie pan but you'll want to create a lip with the crust that extends above the top of the pan to ensure that the filling doesn't run out over the top. See this Homemade Store-Bought Pie Crust post for how to create that lip.
- You could also use a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this recipe. It just won't fill it all the way to the top.
- Do you have to use heavy cream in this quiche Lorraine recipe? Yes and no. If you want a silky smooth, fluffy tender filling go with the combination of heavy cream and half and half that's called for in the recipe. If you're okay with a more lackluster filling, go with just half and half or milk.
- For those of you living outside of the U.S., half and half is an American convenience product often used as a coffee creamer. It's simply a combination of half heavy cream and half milk.
- This quiche can be completely made in advance and re-warmed in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 325˚F. Use the lowest oven shelf and cover the quiche lightly with foil when rewarming. You can also re-warm a slice at a time in the microwave at 50% power. The bottom crust won't be as crisp but it's still delicious!
- Prosciutto is available at most grocery stores that have a deli. Boarshead makes a great prosciutto however I have found that some deli workers have a hard time thinly slicing prosciutto and they hand you a package of shaved prosciutto. Because of this, I usually purchase my prosciutto presliced in packages. Most groceries carry this presliced prosciutto. Sam's Club and Costco have pre-sliced prosciutto for a great price. As usual, the quantity you have to purchase at these big box stores is large but prosciutto freezes well and it's nice to have on hand.
- I like to garnish my quiche Lorraine with fresh herbs like thinly sliced chives or finely chopped rosemary or thyme leaves.
- Look for Gruyere cheese in the specialty cheese area at your grocery store. If they have the cheeses divided into countries of origin, Gruyere is actually a Swiss-made cheese. As mentioned above, you can also you half Gruyere and half Swiss cheese for this quiche Lorraine.
- A refrigerated crust will be much better than a frozen pie crust but if you need to use a frozen crust, use a deep dish variety as there will be too much filling for a standard size.
Thought for the day:
Jesus said to her,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
but whoever drinks of the water
that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him
will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
This super easy Classic Quiche Lorraine with its creamy, tender custard filling, ribbons of thinly sliced prosciutto and crisp, flaky crust is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner and makes fabulous leftovers!
- 1 refrigerated pie crust I use Pillsbury or Wewalka. With Pillsbury, there are 2 crusts in a box. You just need one.
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup half and half
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces grated Gruyere cheese (about 1¾ cup)
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto torn into 2-3-inch long pieces (they will be random shapes, that's fine!)
- thinly sliced fresh chives or other fresh herbs for garnish, if desired
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place a sheet pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
Unroll the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Fit the crust into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a pie pan), trimming off or crimping any extra dough around the perimeter of the top. Freeze the crust in the pan for 15 minutes or refrigerate for at least 1 hour (you can do this a day ahead if desired) while you prepare the other ingredients.
Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and place it on a work surface. Combine the eggs, cream, half and half and salt in a medium-size bowl and stir with a whisk until well combined. Slowly pour the egg mixture through fine-mesh strainer into the crust. Sprinkle with the cheese then tuck the prosciutto into the filling across the top of the quiche. Most of each prosciutto piece should be submerged into the egg mixture.
Bake the quiche on the preheated pan (on the lower rack) for 25-35 minutes until the center no longer wiggles when gently moved. Tent the pan with foil if the top is getting too dark during the last 15-20 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the tart pan and garnish with thinly sliced fresh herbs, if desired.
This quiche can be made a day ahead, cooled and refrigerated. Before serving, rewarm in a 325˚F oven for 15-20 minutes.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.