Caramelize shallots with spices and herbs.
In a pot, add in sliced shallots with 1 tbsp. butter over medium and begin to sauté. Add thyme, bay leaves and cloves. Stir around a minute or two and turn the heat down to low to low-medium. It’s important that your heat is on low in order to caramelize onions properly. Continue to cook down shallots with the herbs until onions are brown and caramelized. This will take about 45 minutes. Watch the pot every 5-10 minutes and stir around once in a while to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.
Add bacon and render.
About 30 minutes into caramelizing shallots, turn heat back up to medium heat and add the bacon to begin rendering out all the fat, stirring together with the shallots. After 2 minutes, turn heat back down to low and cook, continuing to render. Allow the shallots to continue to caramelize until a deep brown colour and the bacon fat to become completely rendered out.
Allow onion and bacon mixture to cool 1 hour.
Once the shallot and bacon mixture is a nice deep brown colour, remove from heat and discard the thyme stems, bay leaves, and cloves. Allow this mixture to rest and cool for 1 hour. If you don’t let it cool, you may risk the hot mixture cooking the raw eggs and your quiche will become overcooked.
Heat half and half, let cool 1 hour.
In a small pot, add half and half and bring to a low boil over medium heat. When the half and half just begins to bubble, remove from heat and pour into a bowl to let cool for 1 hour. Again, if you do not let this cool, you will be risking the hot mixture overcooking the eggs in your quiche.
Roll out pie dough and bake in pie dish
While everything is cooling, preheat the oven to 350° (176°C). Take your pie dough out and using a rolling pin, roll the dough flat into a circular shape. It’s okay if your dough isn’t perfectly round, it just needs to cover the diameter of the pie dish, with a couple inches of allowance for the depth. Make sure the thickness of the dough doesn’t exceed ¼”. You’re going to want to roll it out thinly so that the filling fits in the dish. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until the dough is cooked and brown. Remove from oven and let cool for another 10 minutes or until crust is not piping hot.
Blend eggs in blender or food processor for 1 minute or so, until the egg gets a bit foamy. Add the cooled down half and half, nutmeg, and salt. Blend for a little more so everything is incorporated.
Top pie dish with cheese, bacon shallot mixture, and eggs.
Preheat oven to 325°F (162°C) to get the oven ready for baking the quiche.
Add the grated gruyere cheese first in the pie dish with the cooled down crust. Spread it across the entire bottom. Then add the caramelized shallots and bacon mixture over the cheese. Lastly, pour over the egg mixture from the food processor until the pie dish is all filled up.
Bake at 325°F (162°C) for 1 – 1½ hr. Check on the quiche once in a while to make sure it doesn’t overcook. When the quiche is ready to remove from oven, the edges will be set but the center is still jiggly. You want the center to jiggle because the quiche will continue cooking after you take it out from the oven and continue to set. Let cool at least 3 hours before serving. Congrats! You just made quiche lorraine.