FAMILY MEMORIES: QUICHE LORRAINE AND DAMSON PIE

While passing through Lorraine, In my clogs*

Quiche Lorraine and Tarte aux Quetsches: dishes from Lorraine, the French region where my family is from, were on the menu yesterday evening, and yes, we passed by Lorraine...


This is a traditional Quiche Lorraine. Which means that there is crème fraîche possibly diluted with whole milk or half and half and bacon. But NO onions of any color, no cheese of any kind, "no nothing". Just cream and bacon. Or to be exact diced slab bacon. If you cannot find slab bacon, slab pancetta, rather than sliced bacon, can make it. After all, there are a lot of Italian origin people in Lorraine, such as Michel Platini, the famous soccer player, whose parents or grandparents migrated there in the first half of the 20th century with the development and the need for manpower of the mining and steel industry.  

To make a traditional quiche lorraine, you need:
  • A "pâte brisée" crust", i.e. 250 g of AP flour, 125 g of room temperature butter, 1 yolk, salt, and <5 cl of water, mixed and rested for 1 hour in the fridge;
  • A "migaine", this how is called in Lorraine the filling. made of (4 servings) a full pot of crème fraîche completed by, around, half a glass of half & half, 3 eggs, and grated nutmeg. My personal twist is to add also a generous tsp. of Dijon mustard for its bite that will cut through the cream mildness; 
  • Slab bacon cut in dices will be cooked at medium/high temperature for around 5 minutes, just to eliminate some fat, be patted in an absorbing paper, and lightly rubbed in flour to avoid that it falls on the bottom.
  • The migaine is then poured into the crust and the bacon diced are equally spread around the surface of the filling;
  • To bake in a preheated 350 F oven for around 1 hour or till the surface takes a nice golden-brown color.
To rest a while and serve warm/lukewarm, with a salad. Since the quiche is a mild dish due to the bacon and the cream, do not hesitate to serve it with bitter lettuce like endive, radicchio, dandelion, or to include in your salad sorrel leaves that will bring their acidity.

Tarte aux quetsches:

"Quetsches" are a traditional purple plum, very popular with its "blond sister", the mirabelle plum, in Lorraine. The English name is damson although I find that the Lorraine quetsches have a slightly greener pulp, even when ripe, than those damson plums found here in the USA. So, you got it, this was a damson pie, but let me dream that those were real Lorraine quetsches. In fact, the ovoid shape, the purple skin and the both sweet and tart taste are very, very similar. Just different varieties probably.
The pie is as easy to make as possible. A crust, same as above with the addition of a tbsp. of brown sugar, some almonds powdered with the Vitamix on the bottom (to absorb the juice), the plums cut by halves, and some brown sugar spread on the top.
Baked in a preheated 350 F oven for around 75 minutes or till the plums take a nice color and a caramelized texture.
* En passant par la Lorraine:

Enpassant par la Lorraine is a very old traditional French song... about the "virtues" of marjoram... if you read it from a foodie's perspective...
For the amateurs, here are the lyrics translated in English (numerous repetitions removed):
While passing through Lorraine, in my clogs, 
While passing through Lorraine,
In my clogs,
I came across three captains
In my clogs, dondaine, / Oh! Oh! Oh! / In my clogs.
They called me, Peasant! / I'm not such a peasant / Since the king's son loves me / He gave me as a New Year gift / A bunch of marjoram, / I planted it in the plain, / If it blossoms, I'll be queen / If it dies, my efforts will be in vain, / In my clogs, dondaine, / Oh! Oh! Oh! / In my clogs.

Comments

  1. I am enjoying reading every one of your posts. It would be repetitious to comment 'wonderful' on each one of them, but this post I cannot resist adding the superlatives. As you know, I was fortunate to spend about a year in Lorraine, and to me, the humble quiche Lorraine is haut cuisine, so infused it is with delicious memories! Fabulous blog, Patrick!

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