Inspired by a wonderful quiche that a workmate’s mother used to make on a regular basis, I decided that now I have left work I would have a go myself. I was going to buy a ready made pastry case as I hate the mess of rolling out pastry, but couldn’t find one, so with great trepidation I rolled up my sleeves, got out my marble pastry board and rolling pin and tried a recipe found on line, which I followed exactly (well almost):-
Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 45 mins (at least)
For the pastry
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg yolk
For the filling
- 200g pack lardon, unsmoked or smoked
- 50g Gruyère
- 200ml carton crème fraîche
- 200ml double cream
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- pinch ground nutmeg
- For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor. Using the pulse button, process until the mix binds. Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base. Trim the pastry edges with scissors (save any trimmings) so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn’t now go below the level of the tin). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
- Line pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot sheet for 15 mins. Remove foil and beans and bake for 4-5 mins more until the pastry is pale golden. If you notice any small holes or cracks, patch up with pastry trimmings. You can make up to this point a day ahead.
- While the pastry cooks, prepare the filling. Heat a small frying pan, tip in the lardons and fry for a couple of mins. Drain off any liquid that comes out, then continue cooking until the lardons just start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and fried lardons over the bottom of the pastry case.
- Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs. Season (you shouldn’t need much salt) and add nutmeg. Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.
- Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the flan tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the filling into the pastry case – you get it right to the top this way. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back into the oven. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 mins, or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm). Let the quiche settle for 4-5 mins, then remove from the tin. Serve freshly baked, although it’s also good cold.
Notes to self:-
My dish was slightly larger than 23cm. Therefore the filling was not as deep as I would have liked, but it rose higher than the pastry case during cooking anyway.
I had to cook mine for at least 45 mins before it browned in my top oven at 170deg. This did not seem to have any detrimental effect on either the pastry or the filling.
I had not bought enough cream, but I substituted the extra 50ml with the left over egg white and extra creme fraiche.
This was not as nice as Lisa’s mum’s quiche but I think she used thick slices of ham, not bacon lardons, which I think I will try next time.
I’m wondering if a dash of mustard powder in the egg mix wouldn’t go amiss and it might be good to add a bit of onion, but then again, I like strong flavours and it wouldn’t then be Quiche Lorraine.
Not being a great lover of pastry, I liked the fact that the pastry layer was very thin and crisp. I had very little trimmings, and did not need to use them to patch up. It didn’t go soggy, like some quiches do.
Overall marks out of 10 = 9