Growing up in Piennes Lorraine the quiche, grandir a Piennes, la quiche

Posted by on July 28, 2014

           When I first arrived in the States, people were asking me where I was born and would say Piennes and eyes would grow wide open.

Where in the world is Piennes?

It’s in Lorraine a small town basically between Metz and Verdun, on the German highway.

Oh Lorraine, like in “quiche Lorraine”?

Yeah Lorraine like the quiche.

Growing up quiche wasn’t really a staple on the kitchen table.  To begin a quiche  mothers (housewives) had to make the dough and it is not small task.


To make “pate brisee” (broken dough as opposed to pate feuilletee leaved dough)(In the States we call it pie dough) takes:
2 1/2 cup of all purpose flower

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 pound of unsalted butter cubed.

1/4 to 1/2 cup of very cold water.

Mixed all the dry ingredient in a mixing bowl then add small amounts of water at the time until the dough doesn’t crumble and yet doesn’t stick to your fingers.   Then let it rest under a clean towel for 2 hours in the refrigerator or a very cool place.


Now it is interesting to know when the original pie crust was invented no butter was used.  It was lard and the use continued until the late 50’s.  Indeed butter was an expensive ingredient and was only used by the wealthy whereas pies they were often the pastries of the poor who couldn’t afford to make cakes.


Originally the recipe for quiche calls for

500 grams of pork belly

250 grams of cream fraiche

8 eggs, salt and pepper to taste.

Blanche the “poitrine de porc” (pork belly) then cube it, saute it in a cast iron pot (taste so much better).  While the cubed pork is browning in the pan, whip the eggs and the cream.  In the rolled dough place the roasted cubed pork belly, cover it with cream and egg mix bake it for 30 to 45 minutes at 325 degrees.

Now this is the original quiche Lorraine recipe:  No cheese no mushrooms no parsley no sage no rosemary no thyme or other herbes de Provence.  This was the way women of Lorraine were making the quiche more than 100 years ago.  Today there are so many variations  I couldn’t count them all.  But personally I like my quiche a little lighter replacing the cream by milk
Today to make quiche is a lot easier, not because of the ingredients but because of the dough, you can find it already prepped anywhere in literally every store.  But in the fifties and sixties quiche had become a luxury which could be seen on dining room table as an “Entree” (What Americans call an appetizer.  Entree means entering in French therefore an entree is something bringing you into the meal, and is not the meal itself) for a holiday meal.  The quiche aslo has evolved, pork belly is now smoked salmon or tofu.  Old Lorraine women must turn in their graves.
Just for info, I ate more quiche in one year in the States than in my entire youth in France.



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