We didn’t know it at the time, but it turned out to be very appropriate that my daughter and I chose to use a heart-shaped tin to make this quiche in because it was the nicest quiche I’ve ever had. I take no credit for that, it’s all down to the recipe, which isn’t one of mine. Usually I find quiche a little bit blah – I’ll happily eat it, but it doesn’t rock my world…until now…this one is rich and indulgent and we all loved it.
The recipe we used is Ultimate Quiche Lorraine from BBC Good Food. The only thing we changed is that we used ham and Red Leicester cheese, rather than the lardons and Gruyère cheese specified in the recipe – it’s probably even nicer with lardons and Gruyère, but we chose to use ingredients that we already had. Oh and there was nutmeg in the original recipe that we didn’t use. Once you’ve got the base recipe though, you can use whatever cooked meat/vegetables that you like, it doesn’t have to be a Quiche Lorraine.
WHAT YOU NEED
For the pastry:
– 175g plain flour
– 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
– 1 egg yolk
– 4 teaspoons cold water
For the filling:
– 200g ham (or any cooked meat/veg that you like, if you want to use lardons then see original recipe for how to prep them)
– 50g Red Leicester cheese (or any tasty grateable cheese of your choice)
– 200ml crème fraîche
– 200ml double cream
– 3 large eggs, well beaten
WHAT YOU DO
1. 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.
2. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base, and then press it into the flutes. Or if you’re us, a heart shaped tin instead! Our pastry broke apart a lot when when tried to transfer it from the counter to the tin, but we just patched it up in the tin and it was fine. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 10 minutes.
2. While pastry is chilling, place a baking sheet in the oven and heat at 180C/350F. Line the inside of the 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.
3. Once the pastry is cooked, cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and ham 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 well beaten eggs. Season with a little salt and pepper.
4. 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,
5. Lower the oven to 170C/340F 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, or cold.
Perfect for lunch with a salad, or as part of a party buffet. Happy quiche-ing!