Is the Coronation quiche really…a TART?

Is the Coronation quiche really…a TART? French experts insist it’s an open-topped pie because it doesn’t traditional ham and cream ingredients

  • French food experts have said the Coronation quiche is not actually a quiche 
  • Read more: Anne holds bombshell interview on eve of King Charles’ coronation

While King Charles may have hoped his Coronation Quiche  would become a British favourite, it seems the dish has hit a stumbling block – days before the big event.

For French food experts have insisted the dish isn’t actually a quiche, and instead are arguing it is, in fact, a tart.

Experts from the area of Lorraine, where the popular dish gained prominence have said that there is only one kind of quiche – and that is a quiche Lorraine.

The quiche Lorraine largely differs from Charles’ recipe, mainly because it contains ham and cream as opposed to vegetables and milk 

Speaking to The Times,  Évelyne Muller-Dervaux, the grand master of the Brotherhood of the Quiche Lorraine, said: ‘I think I would call it a savoury tart.’

French food experts are insisting that King Charles’ Coronation Quiche is actually a tart (pictured, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prue Leith trying the dish) 

Laurent Miltgen-Delinchamp, a member of the Quiche Lorraine brotherhood, also agreed, saying: ‘I think it would have anyway better reflected the British spirit if they had called it a tart.’ 

Quiche is known as a classic French dish, but is said to have actually originated in Germany in the Middle Ages, with the word quiche coming from the German ‘kuchen’, meaning cake. 

Despite being hailed as a French creation, recipes using cream and eggs in pastry were being used in English cooking in medieval times.

In 2020, the British Museum published an expansive list of traditional Christmas meals served during the Middle Ages – which included a cream custard tart.

The recipe involved making shortcrust pastry out of lard and combining egg yolks, double cream, milk, sugar, salt and dried saffron.

The dish spread across the continent in the 19th century when, during a war between France and Prussia, many inhabitants left their homes and moved to Paris.

They brought with them their culture and recipes – including the quiche dish, and it quickly began being created across the world. 

Last month, Buckingham Palace announced the dish the monarch has chosen to celebrate being crowned King

Last month,  Buckingham Palace announced the dish the monarch has chosen to celebrate being crowned King. 

The tart – which features spinach, broad beans and tarragon – has been developed with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and appears to have taken inspiration from Charles’ love of gardening. 

It is hoped people will be inspired to make the quiche and serve it up at the ‘Big Lunches’ being held up and down the country over the Coronation weekend of May 6-8.

Quiche was chosen because it is considered a good ‘sharing’ dish to take to a street party and can be served hot or cold. 

It also suits a wide variety of dietary requirements and preferences and is considered to be ‘not too complicated to make or require costly or hard-to-source ingredients’. 

Although quiche is commonly credited as a French dish, similar recipes have been used in British cookery since the 14th century.

What’s more, the late Queen was also said to be a fan of the savoury snack – and was particularly partial to a classic quiche Lorraine.

The Coronation will be held at Westminster Abbey, with around 2,000 people attending the once-in-a-generation event, on May 6

The Great British Bake Off judge Dame Prue Leith gave her stamp of approval to the coronation quiche, judging the dish to be ‘absolutely delicious’, last month.

The chef and TV presenter became one of the first people to try the official coronation pastry at a special Big Lunch at Westminster Abbey, attended by faith leaders from across the country.

Hosted by the Dean of Westminster, the outdoor event was organised to inspire people to organise their own celebratory events, showing how food can bring together people of all faiths and backgrounds.

A Big Lunch ambassador, Dame Prue, 83, praised the dish for being ‘seasonal’.

‘The quiche was absolutely delicious,’ she said. ‘There was no soggy bottom, the custard was not overcooked and dry, and the balance of tarragon was perfect – a really good quiche.

‘Quiche is universal. Even cold, if the ingredients are right and the pastry is nice and buttery, it will taste great.

‘I remember when quiche Lorraine was something very special 60 years ago. It is still one of the best pastries to make.’

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