Pic­nic quiche

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOOD KIRSTIE SPECIAL -

I was in­spired to learn how to make quiches by those I tasted at Sally Clarke’s deli in Kens­ing­ton. A clas­sic quiche, from Lor­raine, is a pas­try case con­tain­ing a cus­tard of eggs and cream, with added onion, ba­con and cheese. (I have made the cheese op­tional here, as the cream fill­ing is very rich.) Once you have mas­tered the ba­sic cus­tard recipe, you can ring the changes by us­ing fish and dif­fer­ent veg­eta­bles: smoked had­dock would be good, per­haps with some onion and red pep­per; fried, sliced mush­rooms are also a tasty ad­di­tion. For a por­ta­ble feast or pic­nic, wrap the cold quiche in cling­film, prefer­ably still in its tin, and trans­port like that. Cut into wedges when you are at your des­ti­na­tion. If you don’t want to make your own short­crust pas­try, use 275g ready-made.

SERVES 10-12

2 tbsp olive oil 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped 450g ba­con pieces or ready-chopped pancetta 100g Gruyère cheese, grated (op­tional) salt and freshly ground black pep­per

FOR THE SHORT­CRUST PAS­TRY (OR USE 275G READY-MADE) 180g plain flour, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for dust­ing 90g cold but­ter, chopped 3-4 tbsp iced wa­ter (just add ice to a small glass of wa­ter)

FOR THE CUS­TARD 2 large eggs, plus 1 medium egg yolk 300ml dou­ble cream freshly grated nut­meg

● First make the pas­try. Put the flour, but­ter and a pinch of salt in a food pro­ces­sor and whiz un­til the mix­ture looks like fine sand. Add the iced wa­ter and pulse un­til the mix­ture starts to form a dough. Tip into a bowl and very quickly knead it with your hands un­til it comes to­gether and looks smooth. Flat­ten into a disc and wrap in cling­film. Chill in the freezer for 10 min­utes. Don’t for­get it or it will har­den into an un­rol­lable slab! ● Dust a clean work sur­face with a lit­tle flour and roll out the pas­try quickly and evenly. Use it to line a 23cm x 4cm loose-bot­tomed fluted tart tin. Trim the edges, then prick the base all over. Place in the freezer for about 20 min­utes, un­til firm. ● Mean­while, pre­heat the oven to 200C/ fan 180C/gas 6. ● Line the pas­try case with bak­ing parch­ment and bak­ing beans, place it on a bak­ing sheet and blind-bake for 15 min­utes. Re­move the parch­ment and beans, and re­turn the pas­try case to the oven for a fur­ther 5-10 min­utes, un­til the base feels and looks dry. Turn off the oven and re­move the tin, leav­ing the pas­try case on the bak­ing sheet. ● To make the fill­ing, heat the oil in a medium pan, then stir in the onions and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 2-3 min­utes. Take a sheet of bak­ing parch­ment, scrunch it up and wet it well. Open it out slightly and place on top of the onions. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to very low. Cook for about 25 min­utes, un­til the onions have soft­ened. Check them ev­ery 8-10 min­utes and give them a stir, re­plac­ing the parch­ment and lid ev­ery time. If they start to brown and look as if they’ll burn, add a good splash of wa­ter. They need to be re­ally soft once they’re done: if you don’t cook them for long enough, they’ll be hard and crunchy when you bite into the quiche, plus there’s a chance they’ll cur­dle the cream. Leave to cool. ● Mean­while, cook the ba­con pieces or pancetta in a large fry­ing pan un­til golden and just start­ing to crisp. (If your pan is not big enough, you’ll need to do this in two batches.) Ex­tra oil shouldn’t be nec­es­sary, but add a driz­zle if you think it is. Re­move from the pan with a slot­ted spoon and drain on kitchen pa­per. Leave to cool. Pre­heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. ● Spoon the onion into the base of the pas­try case and spread it out. Do the same with the ba­con, spread­ing the bits evenly over the top. Whisk to­gether the eggs, egg yolk and dou­ble cream in a jug, then sea­son with salt, pep­per and nut­meg. Care­fully pour this mix­ture into the pas­try case. If us­ing the grated cheese, mix it into the jug of eggs or sprin­kle it over the filled quiche. ● Re­turn to the oven, still on the bak­ing sheet, and bake for around 40 min­utes, ro­tat­ing the tin half­way through so it cooks evenly. The top should have just a slight wob­ble. Serve warm or cold. ➤

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