French Confinement Cuisine
Marie's Quiche fhphoto

French Confinement Cuisine

Oh my, where is the time going?  This virus doesn’t just provoke horror, it eats time.  Never in my life have I had so much time, never have I felt it speed by so fast.

As we remain confined, and even after we are released on May 11 restaurants and cafes will remain closed, so everyone is cooking up a storm. I want to share with you some dishes my French friends are cooking, their reaction to being strictly confined.  I’ll admit I hang out with people who love food and wine on any old day; now, they’re diving into their culinary tendencies with elan, given that there is less to do and more time in which to do it.  Below you will re-meet some of the friends you already know from my books, particularly In a French Kitchen.

Isabel, owner and director of a beauty institute that features Hauschka products and gentle treatments, turns to nature, always.  Right now she favors Bear Garlic (l’ail des ours) Pesto and turnip greens salad for herself and her teenage girls, always conscious of vitamins, minerals, and flavor.

Marie, a primary school math teacher who retired two months before the confinement, is finding joy in cooking and exercising her considerable talents with things like the leek tart that you’ll find here.  Claude, her partner, makes all the pastry she uses, from puff pastry to pate brisee…so she is never at a loss for he makes a lot at a time, and freezes it for convenience.  Marie puts vacherin in her leek tart; I’ve adapted it because Vacherin is not an easy cheese to find. Enjoy!

Nathalie is a doctor with three growing boys and a cooking husband, Arnaud. One is not separate from the other when it comes to culinary enthusiasm; Arnaud is the family cook because Nathalie works around the clock.  Now, though, because Normandy has mostly been spared the virus, she’s got time on her hands and her therapy is making fruit tarts. See the recipe for rhubarb tart – she sprinkles black currants on hers, that she picked last summer and froze.

Betty has always been my paragon when it comes to classic cooking. She did a course in home economics in school, obligatory for girls in the sixties and seventies, and that training and those recipes have never left her.  I refer you to yogurt cake, which she makes because she loves it, it’s comforting.

Each one of these cooks is part of the wine group I created more than twenty years ago.  They are all fascinated with the panoply of flavors wine brings, each convinced as our mentor, Herve Lestage from La Feuille de Vigne has taught us.  If you love the wine, it will go with the food you’ve prepared.  In all cases and in every case, this has proven true.

I raise a glass to you all in these last weeks of confinement.  We don’t know what our new freedoms will be, but for the moment they won’t include restaurants.  Use these recipes in good health and with love, for the growers, the transporters, the sellers, and to yourself and others at your table.  As temperatures warm and molasses time thins, I will be in touch more regularly.

Bon Appétit!

Print Recipe
RHUBARB AND BLACK CURRANT TART- TARTE A LA RHUBARBE
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • One recipe for Tender TartPastry
  • 1/3 cup; 65g sugar
  • 1/4 cup; 35 g all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 pounds;750g rhubarb cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks,
  • 1 cup;100g black or red currants
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • One recipe for Tender TartPastry
  • 1/3 cup; 65g sugar
  • 1/4 cup; 35 g all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 pounds;750g rhubarb cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) chunks,
  • 1 cup;100g black or red currants
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the water.
  2. Roll out the pastry to a 13-inch (32.5 cm) circle. Fit it gently into a 10-1/2 inch (26 ½ cm), removable bottom tart tin. Brush the bottom of the pastry with the egg glaze.
  3. Combine the sugar and the flour in a large bowl. Add the fruit and stir until all the ingredients are combined, then turn it into the prepared pastry. Place the tart tin on a baking sheet and bake it in the bottom third of the pre-heated oven until the fruit and the pastry are golden and cooked through, about 35 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the tart from the edge of the tart mold. Let cool on a wire rack to room temperature and serve.
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Print Recipe
LEEK QUICHE - QUICHE AUX POIREAUX
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: glass or metal pie plate measuring 10-1/2 (26.25cm). If all you have is a removeable bottom pie plate, use it but make sure that you save a little pastry so that if the pastry shrinks and there are small holes, you can patch them!
LEEK QUICHE - QUICHE AUX POIREAUX
Course French, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword Gruyere, leek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces; 120g bacon cut in small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – if necessary
  • White part only 4 leeks trimmed, cut in thin rounds, rinsed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • One recipe for TENDER TART PASTRY
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup;160ml heavy cream or creme fraîche
  • 1 cup;250ml, milk preferably whole
  • 4 ounces; 120g Gruyère Emmenthal, or other Swiss-type cheese, grated,
Course French, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Keyword Gruyere, leek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces; 120g bacon cut in small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil – if necessary
  • White part only 4 leeks trimmed, cut in thin rounds, rinsed
  • Fine sea salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • One recipe for TENDER TART PASTRY
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup;160ml heavy cream or creme fraîche
  • 1 cup;250ml, milk preferably whole
  • 4 ounces; 120g Gruyère Emmenthal, or other Swiss-type cheese, grated,
LEEK QUICHE - QUICHE AUX POIREAUX
Instructions
  1. Roll out the pastry to fit a 10-1/2-inch (26.25cm) glass or metal pie plate (not removable bottom). Crimp the edges, poke the bottom with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife, and place the pastry in the freezer for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220C).
  3. Line the pastry with aluminum foil and pastry weights, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the pastry is golden at the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the aluminum foil and pastry weights. Return the pastry to the oven to bake until the bottom is golden, an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and reserve.
  4. Place the bacon in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until it is Cook golden on all sides, which will take about 7 minutes. If you need extra fat, add the oil, so the bacon browns nicely. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towel. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan, if necessary. Add the leeks, stir, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, which will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and the milk until thoroughly blended. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the leeks and the cheese to the egg mixture and stir until all the ingredients are well-mixed.
  6. Sprinkle the bacon on the pastry. Turn the custard mixture into the pastry. Carefully put the quiche, which should be on the baking sheet, into the oven on the center rack and bake until the filling is golden and completely baked through, which will take 30 to 40 minutes. To test for doneness, shake the quiche - if it is solid without a pool of uncooked filling in the center, it is done. You may also stick a sharp knife blade into the center of the filling and if it comes out clean, the quiche is baked through.
  7. Remove the quiche from the oven and show it to your guests while it’s at its best, as it will deflate. Wait for it to cool for about 10 minutes, then serve
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Print Recipe
Tender Tart Pastry - Pâte Brisée
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons;180 g unsalted butter chilled and cut into 12 pieces,
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons (80-95ml) ice water
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons;180 g unsalted butter chilled and cut into 12 pieces,
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons (80-95ml) ice water
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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Jim Maddocks

    Ummm….where’s the leeks in the ingredient listing?

    1. Susan

      Jim – I’m soooo sorry. Go now, and you’ll find the leeks..the white part of four leeks.

  2. Peggy Fecker

    Could you let us know if there are leeks in the quiche? Thank you.

    1. Susan

      Oh My Goodness! I apologize one thousand times. Go there now – it’s fixed. The white part of four leeks

  3. Jim Maddocks

    Awesome – thanks – much better. 🙂

    1. Susan

      Bon Appetit. I think I need an editor!!

  4. Laura Erickson

    Where’s the recipe for TENDER TART PASTRY? or shall I just use Julia Child’s? ☺

    1. Susan

      Laura – thanks for writing. It’s at the end of the blog! Take a look. You can always search it on the site, too. Good luck/Bon App!

  5. Zane

    Looks like the recipe for tart pastry is missing flour?

    1. Susan

      I am SO SORRY! Good grief. It’s 1-1/2 cups, and the recipe is repaired!

  6. bernie

    Bonjour, how much flour is needed for the pastry?

    1. Susan

      Bernie – I guess I have to get a new brain for recipes! 1-1/2 cups!

  7. Karen Andre

    Is the amount of flour in the Pate Brisèe missing or perhaps my eyes are fooling me. Can’t wait until I make this quiche!!

    1. Susan

      Oh man. I don’t know, but it should be 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. I’ll check it.

      1. Karen Andre

        Thank you, Susan!! Tomorrow is the day!!!

        1. Susan

          My pleasure

      2. Karen Andre

        I made the quiche today. It was the best I have ever made. Wish I could send a photo!! Next up? Next week, yougurt cake! Thanks for the recipe(s)!

        1. Susan

          karen, I’m so glad you loved it! It’s a magic recipe!

  8. Cathy

    I love your pastry recipe… never fails. When I get my hands on leeks I am going to make the leek quiche.

    Raising a glass to you in these crazy times!

    1. Susan

      Me to you, TOO!!! I hope you find leeks.

  9. Kameela

    Hope you’re doing ok. Isn’t it great that lots if people are discovering the kitchen at this time. So therapeutic. I think the rhubarb tart is a perfect lockdown recipe especially if you have rhubarb in the garden and some currants stashed away in the freezer. Definitely giving this a try. Thank you and stay safe 😊

    1. Susan

      Kameela – let me know how it turns out! Stay healthy!

  10. Karen

    Do you use the bacon in the quiche? I don’t see it in the recipe…. Thank you!

    1. Susan

      It’s there because I fixed it, thanks to you! apologies!

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