Thursday, February 6, 2014

French Classics in French Bleu - Bacon & Clam Quiche alla Corningware

Ah, Quiche; how I do love thee.  I will say it again, like I always do...  There is nothing all that mysterious about quiche - it's really nothing more than a savory custard pie.  And lord knows that there ain't nothin' wrong with pie.  Sure, you add stuff to the custard, but most of the quiche adjuncts only make it more filling which in turn makes quiche more of a brunch/lunch or even a dinner affair.

You can't go wrong with pie for dinner.   That's all I gotta say.

This is a twist on the Clam Quiche my mom use to make when we were children.  Mom use to mix a can of Snow's Clam Chowder into the custard along with some Bacon.  I tried making it that way a while back and was astonished at the resulting saltiness.  I don't remember it being that salty when I was a kid.  Then again, a lot of things have changed with our prepared foods since I was a kid.  High Fructose Corn Syrup being one of them a long with miscellaneous fillers that also didn't exist in my youth.  So lord knows what they have done to the Clam Chowder since 1978.

Be that as it may, I decided that if I wanted to have Bacon & Clam Quiche, I was going to have to strip the recipe down to it's bare bones.  I am pleased with the results and was happy to find that I did not miss the wayward potatoes (from the Chowder) at all.  In fact, the lack there of made the quiche all that mush more delicious.  I did find it amusing, however, that the canned clams I grabbed in the grocery aisle were still canned by Snow's. 

For fun, I decided to use the one and only piece of the infamous French Bleu that I own... It just happens to be the 10 inch (24cm) Quiche dish (F-3-B).

Bacon & Clam Quiche

1 cup (4.5oz) (127g) AP Flour
1/2 cup (2.25oz) (62g) Spelt Flour
1/2 tsp Salt 
optional - 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
8 TB unsalted Butter
1 TB Sour Cream or Crème Fraîche
1 TB Ice Water
4 oz (114g) Bacon, sliced into matchsticks
6 large Eggs
1 1/2 cups (350ml) Crème Fraîche
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper
a couple gratings of fresh Nutmeg
6 1/2 oz can Minced Clams, drained
6 1/2 oz can Chopped Clams, drained
1 oz finely grated Fontina Cheese, divided

A 10-inch (24cm) French White/Bleu/Bisque, or Classic Black Quiche dish (F-3-B)

Always remember, the key to perfect pastry crust is cold ingredients and speed. (the refrigerator is your friend)
In a medium bowl, combine AP Flour, Spelt Flour, Salt and Black Pepper (if using) with a whisk.

Grate the Butter with a coarse cheese grater. (This makes incorporating the butter a little faster)

Work it into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter until you have only pea sized lumps of butter.

In a small bowl, combine Ice Water and Sour Cream with a fork.

Add this to the Flour/Butter mixture and stir with a fork until a dough forms.

You may chill it at this point if you like, or roll out to a 13 inch circle.

Roll the pastry over your rolling pin to move to your 10-inch Quiche dish. (F-3-BSpelt makes it a little more tender and it will rip fairly easily if you try to fold it into quarters to move it

Unroll into your dish and gently coerce it down into the dish. (if you stretch the pastry, it will shrink more when baking)

Because I tend to think of quiche as a rustic dish, I usually just tear the extra pastry from the edge and leave it, but your can trim with a knife and crimp it if you like. (which I did this time)

Dock it (poke holes in it) with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Line with foil and fill with beans, rice or pie weights.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 5 minutes.

Let the pastry shell cool slightly and reduce the temperature to 325F degrees.

Saute and drain the Bacon matchsticks.

Sprinkle the Bacon all over the bottom of the cooling pastry along with the drained chopped and minced Clams.

Sprinkle 1/2 oz of the Fontina cheese over the Clams and Bacon. (I know, I know... No cheese with fish or seafood; and normally I would never think of using cheese when using creme fraiche.  But mom use to throw Cheddar in the Clam Chowder version, so bear with me... It's only a little bit and it sort of ties everything together)

Now, in a bowl, place 6 Eggs and beat them lightly just until the white and yolk are combined.

Add the Crème Fraîche and stir well to combine (be careful not the beat it too much, you want to keep the bubbles to a minimum)

Season with a dash of Nutmeg, Salt and a sprinkle of White Pepper.

Pour the resulting custard into the awaiting pastry shell very slowly as to not dislodge the Bacon, Clams and Cheese from the bottom.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 oz of Fontina Cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling puffs up and the center is just barely set. (eggs continue to cook once they are removed from the oven - if it's done in the oven, it's overcooked at the table)

Let rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes to allow it to finish cooking and to "set" before cutting into the deliciousness.

Where is your Corningware??

Mom's Original Recipe........

9 inch Whole Wheat Pie Shell, Par-baked 10 minutes in a 400F degree oven
8 oz Bacon, cooked and crumbled
15oz can Snow's Clam Chowder
4 large Eggs
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 tsp Dried Parsley
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
4 slices Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. (or see Microwave directions at the bottom)
In a large bowl, combine cooked Bacon, Clam Chowder, Eggs, Sour Cream, Parsley and Pepper; mixing well.
Pour 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared Pie Shell.
Arrange the Cheese sliced on top.
Pour the remaining custard mixture on top.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until set.
Let stand 20 minutes before cutting.

MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS:  (Mom had a HUGE Sharp Carousel Microwave from 1978, I think Simmer is about 30% power, but that is just a guess)

Microwave for 15 minutes on Simmer.
Cover and Microwave for 8 more minutes on Simmer.
Let stand 15 minutes before cutting


  1. Shane,

    This looks really good. I rescued an F-3-B several months ago and I find it to be one of my most useful Corningware pans. Among other things, I've used it for nachos, pizza, and baked potatoes. Next, I'll try your quiche.

    Thanks for the great posts!

  2. So true! I have found the F-3-B to be extremely versatile. I have even roasted a couple of Cornish Game hens in one. LOL I have gone so far as to line it will a paper towel and pop it in the oven to keep pancakes warm. It's the perfect size for SO many things. So useful, that I have 3 in White and, of course, I have the other colors (Bleu, Bisque & Black) in my collection. In the late 80s they released an 8 inch quiche dish too, the F-8-B. I find that I only used it for tarts, definitely not as multitasking as it's larger sibling.

  3. I've been working on old family recipes lately. I would have loved to see your mother's recipe along side yours in order to try both. I have had to amend some of the old recipes too. Recently I scored a SM-1 at a local thrift store, lid included.

  4. THAT is an excellent find. The Cookmate Saucemakers are VERY rare.

  5. Per your request.... I added my mom's original recipe to the bottom of the post. She didn't include her recipe for Whole Wheat Pie crust, but it's more than likely similar to my Spelt crust up above, just with Whole Wheat Flour instead of the Spelt.

  6. Thanks so much, will try it the first chance I get.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.