Monday, November 22, 2010

Oyster Quiche

Two things Southern Maryland is famous for are crabs and oysters. Oyster season kicks off for the public on the third weekend of every October at the St. Mary's County Oyster Festival where the National Oyster Shucking Contest and the National Oyster Cook Off – Oyster Scald are held.

Many believe quiche a French dish. My grandfather was German from the area of Lorraine, a region of northeast France bordering Germany that at various times was claimed by one or the other country. Both German and French are spoken in the region. Lorraine is where the dish originated, and the word quiche, according to the Webster dictionary, is actually a Gallicized German word.

This oyster quiche recipe is a celebration of my family roots and my new home in Southern Maryland.

Press-in Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg

6 slices bacon
½ cup sliced scallions
½ teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tsp. fresh tarragon from the garden)
1 pint shucked oysters, drained
1 to 2 tablespoon(s) cornstarch
2 large eggs
¾ cup half-and-half
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

1. In a food processor bowl, whirl the flour mixture and butter until fine crumbs form. Add egg and whirl until dough holds together. Press pastry over bottom and up sides of a 10-inch pie plate. Bake in a pre-heated, 325-degree oven until light gold, about 25 minutes.

2. Brown bacon in a frying pan. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but ½ tablespoon fat from pan.

3. Add scallions to pan and stir until wilted. Stir in tarragon until fragrant. Spoon onion mixture over crust and spread evenly.

4. Using a slotted spoon, gently place oysters in a bowl and mix with cornstarch to coat. (Will be messy wet.) Again, using the slotted spoon, arrange oysters over onion mixture.

5. In a bowl, whisk eggs, half-and-half, pepper and salt. When blended, pour into crust over oysters. Break up browned bacon into pieces and scatter over top.

6. Bake quiche in a pre-heated, 400 degree oven until custard no longer jiggles in center when pie plate is gently shaken, approximately 25 minutes.

7. Let quiche cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut quiche into wedges to serve.

* During this time of year, shucked oysters can be found in better grocery stores' seafood departments.

With the holiday season fast approaching, consider serving Oyster Quiche for brunch or with a mixed baby-greens salad for a light dinner. Provides four generous servings. Enjoy!


  1. Dawn, the photo is enticing, and I can smell that tarragon! Around the holidays, light suppers are always a great idea. I'll be adding this one to my list. Thanks!

  2. Hi Dawn,
    Found out about this from the FTH digest/loop. So glad I came. I love cooking and i love oysters, but never thought about making an oyster quiche. I'm definitely going to try this!

  3. We're glad you stopped by, Rashda. Stop by often to see what's cooking! And let us know how your quiche turns out. :)

  4. Quiche did not start in Lorraine. It started in actual Germany, but with bread as the crust. It moved across the Rhine to Alsace, where pie crust replaced the bread, and the filling was tons of onions. Then moved to Lorraine, where the onions were moderated. From there, France took it up and added cheese.

    This is an authentic recipe for Quiche Lorraine. Most English language recipes use cheese, which is incorrect.