A History of Quiche



The word ‘quiche’ actually comes from the Lorraine-Franconian (a German dialect spoken in the region of Lorraine in France) word ‘küeche’, meaning ‘cake’. Although now considered to be a founding dish of French cuisine, the quiche originated in Germany and pastry tarts with custard and meat, fish or fruit fillings can be traced back to 14th century England.

The ‘quiche Lorraine’ is perhaps the variation that solidified this dish in French cuisine. It began as a rustic dish eaten in the rural Lorraine region. Smoked bacon or lardons are folded through the custard filling and a little later, Gruyère cheese was added to the mix. The crust is generally a shortcrust pastry, however, puff pastry may also be used.

The basics that make up this open-faced tart are a great base for creativity, invention and a world of flavours. Popular versions that can be found at any supermarket include roasted Mediterranean veg, cheese and tomato, spinach and ricotta, and even seafood. My smoked salmon, tenderstem broccoli and feta quiche (recipe below) is a lovely light and easy lunch, great eaten both hot and cold. Feta is not the most flavoursome of cheeses, but it gives the quiche a creamy texture and lets the smoked salmon shine through, while the Tenderstem broccoli gives a slightly sweeter flavour that standard broccoli and looks much more delicate in a quiche.

Smoked salmon, tenderstem broccoli and feta quiche

Smoked salmon, tenderstem broccoli and feta quiche


shortcrust pastry:

85g butter

170g plain flour

7tsp cold water

pinch of salt


3 eggs

1/4pt. whole milk

2 smoked salmon fillets

50g feta cheese

5 stalks tenderstem broccoli

cheddar cheese

salt and pepper


(preheat oven to 200*c and place 3 individual tart dishes onto a baking tray – no need to grease)

for the pastry:

– cut the butter into small cubes and place in a bowl with sifted flour

– with the tops of your fingers, rub together the butter and flour with salt until it becomes a fine crumb

– add the water and bring together to form a dough

– cut pastry into 4 equal sized pieces (you will only need 3 of these)

– roll each pastry ball out into a circle a few mm thick and gently press into each tart dish

– use a knife to cut off any overhang

– place in the fridge for 15mins to cool

while pastry cools:

– poach salmon in milk until almost cooked through, then pat try and flake into pieces

– blanch broccoli for a few minutes and then slice each stalk into several pieces

– whisk together milk and eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper


– after 15mins, remove pastry from fridge

– cover the base of each tart with salmon

– crumble over feta cheese

– place in broccoli

– pour egg and milk mixture through a sieve into each tart – fill each almost to the top

– top each tart with a little grated cheddar and a few twists of black pepper

– bake for 20-25mins

– after baking, let stand for a few minutes before turning out of dish to serve

(makes 3 tartlets)

*I served my quiches on a bed of watercress and drizzled over a little olive oil. If you’re not keen on watercress, you could use rocket, red chard or spinach leaves.

About SAFbakes

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