Call it retro if you want—a good quiche Lorraine recipe is timeless. The French classic is buttery, bacon-y, and custardy, with a very tender, rich crust. And, while making one is a project, everything can be done ahead of time, so all you have to do before brunch is let it come to room temperature, make a green salad, and take the well-earned credit.
The crust uses butter and lard for superior savory flavor, plus all those flaky layers that a store-bought pie shell simply can’t match. Be sure to use a deep-dish pie pan, as the filling will overflow a standard dish. We prefer metal for its ability to heat quickly and evenly, but glass or ceramic also works. We also like to place the pie dish on a sheet pan so that it’s easier to transfer in and out of the oven.
If you’re baking this last-minute and don’t have any half-and-half, you can substitute with a mixture of heavy cream and milk in equal amounts; while Gruyère cheese is classic, feel free to swap in cheddar, Swiss cheese, or honestly, any combination of cheeses you have on hand, they’d all be delicious. No shallots? Reach into your stash of caramelized onions (you are keeping one, aren’t you?)
You can blind-bake the crust a day or two in advance and leave it on the counter, or freeze it, well-wrapped, for up to 3 months. Beware of overcooking your quiche, as it will continue to set as it cools. Pull it out while the center is still a bit wobbly but the edges are firm.