A quiche florentine is a delicious French egg-based dessert or snack.
The original version was created by Chef Marie-Antoine Carême (1784–1833) while he was working as an apprentice chef at Le Grand Véfour restaurant in Paris.
The dish consists of a crustless pastry base topped with layers of cheese, vegetables, and eggs.
This unique dish has become one of the most iconic dishes in European cuisine.
In fact, this quiche recipe is often referred to as “the king of all pies” because of its popularity throughout Europe and the United States.
What Is A Quiche Florentine?
Quiche florentine literally means “quiches Florentines.” As the name implies, it is a type of quiche made with layers of filling instead of a pie shell.
When you have a quiche florentine, the top layer is usually filled with cheese while the bottom layer contains either spinach or mushrooms.
There are many different ways to fill these layers depending on what ingredients are available to use.
In addition to cheese, other ingredients can be used for the filling such as ham, bacon, olives, onions, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, etc.
Some versions also include fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries.
There are several types of quiche florentine recipes that vary based on where they originated.
For example, some versions contain Swiss cheese, others may incorporate Gruyère, Parmesan, fontina, or Emmentaler cheese.
Other versions add a variety of meats, nuts, or seafood.
Many chefs will even create their own special flavor combinations that are inspired by popular cuisines around the world.
One of the more common flavors is Italian.
These versions typically contain spinach, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella.
Another variation includes prosciutto, artichokes, and green peas.
One of my favorite quiche florentine recipes combines blue cheese, onion soup mix, and roasted red pepper.
How Do You Make A Quiche Florentine?
In order to create your own quiche florentine recipe, start off by preparing the pie shell.
You can either use premade frozen dough, or you can prepare it yourself using flour, salt, sugar, and water.
- Place flour into mixing bowl.
- Add salt and sugar.
- Mix everything together until there are no lumps left.
- Make sure the mixture is not too dry or wet – adjust accordingly.
- Take out the rolling pin and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.
- Gently fold the dough over itself three times before placing it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Once the dough is ready, cut two circles for each piece of tart using a cookie cutter or glass.
- Fill the center of the circle with some food coloring and add more if needed.
- Bake both pieces of tart separately at 350 degrees F (176 C). For best results, bake them side by side.
- Let cool completely before filling.
- To make the filling, whisk milk, heavy cream, and butter in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, mix eggs, flour, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and pepper until fully combined.
- Pour half of the liquid into a separate bowl, then slowly pour this mixture into the other bowl. Mix well.
- After pouring this mixture, gently stir in the spinach and seasonings. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Divide the filling between the two cooled tarts and top with parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly before serving.
What Are The Ingredients In A Quiche Florentine?
Eggs are key components for making a quiche florentine.
To achieve the best results, fresh eggs should be used.
If using frozen eggs, thaw them first before adding them into the mixture.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups milk
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 5 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
- 6 slices Swiss cheese, cut into ¼ inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
- ⅓ cup freshly chopped parsley
How Long Does It Take To Make A Quiche Florentine?
Quiche florentine recipes vary based on how many pieces you want to make, but the basic process remains consistent.
You will need to start off with your dough for the pie shell.
Then, prepare the filling.
Once the filling is ready, assemble the quiches, then bake them until they turn golden brown.
Let cool before serving!
1. Making the Pie Crust
- Combine flour, salt, sugar, and shortening in a bowl.
- Cut butter into small cubes using two knives or a food processor.
- Add cold water 1 tablespoon at time until mixture forms a ball.
- Press ball evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie pan.
2. Filling Ingredients
- Cook ground beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Remove beef from pot and set aside.
- In same pot, saute onions until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in milk, sour cream, Parmesan, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes, whisking frequently.
- Once mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and stir in shredded Cheddar cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius). Place prepared crust in oven and let warm for about 15 minutes.
3. Assembling the Quiches
- Pour cooled custard into prepared crusts and spread evenly across each pie. Top with equal amounts of spinach leaves.
- Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top of quiches.
- Bake each quiche florentine 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges begin to darken slightly.
4. Cooling Time
- Remove pie plates from oven and place on cooling racks for about 30 minutes, allowing any hot liquid inside the quiche to drain out.
- When ready to serve, cut each quiche florentine into eight slices.
What Is The History Of The Quiche Florentine?
Marie Antoine Carême first developed his famous quiche florentine recipe during his apprenticeship under the direction of François Pierre Guillaume Laroche (1769–1833).
After completing his apprenticeship, Carême opened up his own restaurant called La Grande Cuisine Française.
His signature dish included a tart shell filled with various ingredients like pâte brisée, eggs, and cream, which were then baked before serving.
This unique dish became so popular among the wealthy elite of 19th century France where it was served for special occasions.
However, even though the recipe had been around since 1820s, it wasn’t until Carême published his cookbook titled Le Livre de Cuisine Royal et Bourgeoise in 1830 that the quiche florentine became more well known.
Carême also introduced the idea of using puff paste instead of shortcrust pastry to create a lighter and airier pie.
He believed that puff pastries could be used in place of traditional pastry shells because they are less likely to crack when cooked.
In addition, Carême recommended baking the quiche florentine after placing the filling inside the tart shell.
This way, the top layer would not get too browned while cooking.
It is important to note here that Carême did not invent the term quiche florentine.
Instead, he took a new approach to creating a classic French dish by combining elements such as eggs, cream, and cheese into one dish.
How Popular Is The Quiche Florentine?
Quiche florentine recipes have been around for centuries.
According to Food Network Magazine, it is believed that the first quiche florentine was served in 1750s when King Louis XV ordered his chefs to make him a new kind of pie.
Since then, it became very popular among royalty and other high-ranking individuals.
However, during World War II, the popularity of quiche florentines began to decline.
After the war, however, they experienced a resurgence thanks to their health benefits since they were considered healthy and filling snacks.
In addition, people started making them even more flavorful by adding fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, and thyme.
These additions also contributed to the increase in demand for quiche florentines.
It wasn’t until 1970 that the American public really took notice of quiche florentines.
That year, New York Times food writer Craig Claiborne wrote about the dish after trying many different versions of it.
He stated that every region had its own take on the quiche florentine but none were quite like the ones he tried in Paris.
After this, Americans began experimenting with various ingredients and flavors to create better versions of the traditional quiche florentine.
Since then, there have been countless new variations of this tasty treat including vegetarian options and gluten-free varieties.
What Are Some Variations Of The Quiche Florentine?
There are many different versions of quiche florentines.
Some common variations include adding bacon, ham, mushrooms, sausage, or other ingredients to the filling.
Another common variation includes using puff pastry instead of pie dough.
One of my favorite recipes combines both! I love the idea of combining puff pastry and a rich custard filling.
You can also add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme into the custard if you want.
Some interesting variations on the quiche florentine include changing up the size of the tart pan used.
For example, you could make mini quiches out of half a standard 9 inch round cake pan.
These little beauties would be great appetizers or finger foods.
When it comes to choosing your fillings, you have lots of options including chicken, salmon, shrimp, crabmeat, or goat cheese.
If you choose to use seafood, you should consider cooking them first so they don’t get rubbery when baked.
I personally enjoy mixing up my fillings every time I prepare a quiche florentine.
My husband loves me when I do this, but really who doesn’t?!
What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Quiche Florentine?
There are many different versions of quiche florentine recipes out there, but they all share similar elements.
For example, most quiches consist of a simple dough made with flour, salt, water, and yeast.
Some quiches also use butter instead of oil when baking them.
For those who want to learn how to cook quiches, here are some tips on how you can prepare quiches using these basic ingredients.
- Quiche Florentine Recipe Ingredients
- Recipe Step-by-Step Instructions
- 1. Prepare your pan – Before starting to bake your quiche, it is important to first prepare your pan. You should choose a nonstick skillet that will not react to any acids found in foods such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other acidic fruits.
- 2. Mix up your dough – Once you have prepared your pan, mix together the dough that you will be using for your quiche. Use 1/4 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast.
- 3. Add the liquid to the dough – After mixing together the dough, add the liquid into the bowl. Pour about 1/8 cup of cold water into the bowl along with the liquid. Let the mixture sit until the water becomes warm enough so that it warms up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 4. Cover the dough – Place the cover over your bowl of dough and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. After resting, remove the cover and stir the dough around.
- 5. Cook the dough – After stirring the dough, place it back inside of your oven and set the temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the dough for approximately 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown slightly.
- 6. Top your quiche with filling – Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool completely before removing it from your pan.
- 7. Add toppings – While the quiche is cooling, you can begin preparing your topping. To create the topping, combine 8 ounces of shredded Swiss cheese with 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms. When everything is ready, spread the mushroom and cheese mixture onto the cooled quiche.
- 8. Cut the quiche – Finally, cut the quiche right down the middle, leaving each half intact. Then, put the two halves back together again to form your finished quiche.
How Can I Make A Quiche Florentine Healthier
If you want to eat your quiche florentine without feeling guilty about it, then stick to the basic ingredients listed below.
If you would like to add more flavor to this dish than what the original recipe offers, feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices.
You can also use fresh vegetables instead of frozen ones if you have them on hand.
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves
- chopped chives
- The Oven
- 1 pie crust
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup shredded gruyere
- 1 cup baby spinach rinsed
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Set the oven to 425°F.
- The pie crust should be rolled out and gently pressed into a 9-inch springform pan. Pie weights or a paper liner filled with dry beans can be used to weigh down the center.
- The crust should bake for 10 minutes. Beans or pie weight should be removed. Until room temperature, cool.
- Whisk the eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Place aside.
- After adding 3/4 cup of the shredded cheese to the crust, spread the spinach evenly on top.
- Add the remaining cheese after pouring the egg mixture into the crust.
- Bake the quiche until it is golden brown and puffy for about 40 minutes after lowering the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Serve right away.