Favorite Dishes

Bon Appétit! Celebrate Julia Child's Birthday with a Quiche Lorraine

"I think every woman should have a blowtorch."

Today marks what would have been Julia Child's 102nd birthday. If not for Julia -- chef, cookbook author, television host, accidental feminist -- the food world wouldn't be what it is today. If not for Julia, Americans might still be eating TV dinners and boiled hot dogs.

To celebrate her, we've chosen to share a fairly simple and classic recipe we hope you'll try to recreate at home: quiche Lorraine. The great thing about the quiche is that you can make up your own concoctions, and as Julia said, "it is practically foolproof."

See also: Rolando Aedo Talks Miami Spice: "The More People Celebrating Food in Miami, the Better"

In 1948, Julia moved to France with her husband, Paul, and fell in love with French cooking. While there, she studied at the world-famous Cordon Bleu, took private lessons with master chef Max Bugnard, and formed her own cooking school with fellow Cordon Bleu students Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

The trio collaborated on a two-volume cookbook, and in 1961 it was published under the title Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

All of a sudden, complicated French cuisine was made accessible to the American public. The book was considered groundbreaking for that, and Julia's boisterous personality carried her on to host The French Chef TV series and several other best-selling books.

Without Julia, we might not have so many food magazines, food essays, food biographies, food movies, and food competition shows. We might not have the term du jour and ever-popular concept of "food porn."

The following is taken from Mastering the Art of French Cooking under the section "Open-Faced Tarts." Make your own pate brisee (pie crust/pastry dough) or buy pre-made (we won't judge you, though Julia might).

For purposes of space, we've omitted Julia's recipe for pie crust (it goes on for pages). Any crust recipe will do. The following is for the filling:


  • 6-8 slices lean bacon, medium thickness
  • 4 cups water
  • An 8-inch partially cooked pastry shell, placed on a baking sheet
  • 3 eggs or 2 eggs and 2 yolks
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups whipping cream or laf cream and half milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 to 2 Tb butter cut into pea-sized dots
  • The classic quiche Lorraine contains heavy cream, eggs, and bacon, no cheese. The bacon is usually blanched in simmering water to remove its smoky, salty taste, but this step is optional. Diced, cooked ham, sautéed briefly in butter, may replace the bacon.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut bacon into pieces about an inch long and ¼ inch wide. Simmer for 5 minutes in the water. Rinse in cold water. Dry on paper towels. Brown lightly in a skillet. Press bacon pieces into bottom of pastry shell.
  • Beat the eggs, cream or cream and milk, and seasonings in a mixing bowl until blended. Check seasonings. Pour into pastry shell and distribute the butter pieces on top.
  • Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until quiche has puffed and browned. Slide quiche onto a hot platter and serve.
  • Note: You will know the quiche is ready when it has puffed and the top is browned. A knife plunged into the center should come out clean. It will stay puffed about 10 minutes in the turned-off hot oven with the door ajar. As it cools, it sinks down. It may be reheated, but will not puff again.

    Bon Appétit!

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