Is a flamiche a quiche? Or is it a pie? Well, if I told you that flamiche is a Flemish word for cake, would that clear things up? Once upon a time, an old-world flamiche was typically seen wrapped in a yeast-based dough – making it appear a bit more cake-like, I suppose. But in my mind, it’s neither quiche nor pie. A flamiche is a flamiche, and it’s different than a quiche. Unlike most open-faced American-style quiche, a flamiche stays closer to its French roots and often features a top and bottom crust.
Crust aside, the differences between a quiche and a flamiche are subtle (if they exist at all). However, for me, a quiche is best when it’s a true custard – no matter what ingredients or flavors you stir in. In fact, a French quiche is a very precise thing. The result “should tremble as if it were on the verge of collapse”, according to Thomas Keller.
A flamiche on the other hand is far more rustic. It can be sliced and eaten out of hand if you like. It still has egg in it, but the ratio is different – usually just enough egg to bind the ingredients together. I think one egg and one egg yolk is just about right.
In either case, a true flamiche is a specialty of the Picardy region of northern France. I haven’t thought about or thought about making a flamiche in several years. After all, the regional differences between a flamiche, a quiche, a tart and a pie can be altogether too fussy for day-to-day dining. However, a few weeks ago I saw a delicious looking caramelized onion flamiche on Chef Mimi’s blog. She too pondered the question, “Is a Flamiche a Quiche?” So I decided to add this leek version (from my book Savory Pies) to the discussion. GREG