Thursday, July 7, 2016


{These French recipes are from a French cookbook called La Cuisine:  Guide Practique de la Ménagère by Chef R. Blondeau.  This book was passed down to me from my great-grandmother, who was from Alsace, a North-eastern region on the Rhine river plain in France.  It was published in 1930 as a guide for cooks hired to cook for a family.

 I am translating the recipes from French, testing them out with home-grown or raised food, and re-writing them in a modern format, with notes about what worked for me in the kitchen} 

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There are so many eggs this time of the year, that any egg recipe is most welcome.  I have my own version of cheese pie, or quiche - which usually includes whatever vegetables is particularly abundant at the time, and lots of home made goat cheese.  Sometimes it has a crust and some times not - I prefer the crustless quiche because I like things to be all homegrown, and also wheat does not quite agree with me - however, my children are the opposite.

The crust recipe for this quiche is interesting because it includes egg.  And it turned out very nice, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I usually use flour, butter and cold water or cream, but I think I liked the La Cuisine crust given here better.  It is rich and flaky.

The only thing was that it seemed to make more crust than I could fit in my tart looks like a large tart pan, but perhaps it is actually small.  I used all the pastry, just to be fair to the recipe, and the crust turned out rather thick.  When I make this again, I will probably make a thinner crust and use the extra pastry for crackers, or blueberry tart or something.

Naturally, this recipe comes in three parts - first the crust, and next the filling (which is for a regular quiche), and last the modification to add gruyere:


 Line a buttered baking dish, three centimetres deep, with a dough made as follows:

500 grams of flour;
250 grams of butter;
8 grams of salt;
2 eggs.

Bake your crust in a hot oven for 10 minutes, remove, allow to cool, and fill with a half litre of cream, 100 grams of diced butter, four whole eggs, beaten; add salt and pepper and mix it well.

Let cook in a gentle oven for 10 minutes and serve the quiche well browned and toasted.


Prepare as above, but replace the cream with 250 grams of grated gruyere.

baked, but not filled

filled and ready to bake again.

Cheese Pie - a modern version
For the pastry:
4 cups of flour
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons butter (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F while you mix all ingredients into a dough.  Roll out on a floured surface and line a buttered tart pan (about 3 centimetres deep).  Or, if you are lazy like me, press in the dough in as evenly as possible, and crimp the edges.

2. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes.  When you pull it out, turn the oven down to 350F.  Let the crust cool for a bit while you are preparing the filling....

for the filling:
7 tablespoons of butter, diced

4 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper

3 cups of grated gruyere

1.  Mix all the filling ingredients well.  Pour into the pre-baked crust and put back in the cooler oven for about 10 minutes.  It should be well browned and toasted when it is done.

Notes:  OK - a confession for this recipe - I did not have enough gruyere for three cups (it's so expensive if you go for the real imported stuff!!!!) - only about a cup and a half, so I added half the amount of cream to make up for it.  It took about twice as long to bake and be browned and pretty, so perhaps it had to do with the substitution.  Still, it turned out rich, creamy and flavorful.  There are no oven temperatures given in the recipe (I think they were probably assuming you are cooking on a wood stove) so I gave a good guess.

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