On my shelf, I have a varied range of cookbooks; the quantity seems to grow more and more as the months pass by. Edd Kimber, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Lorraine Pascale, Nadia Sawalha, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hairy Bikers….
Although I had never really made anything from the Lorraine Pascale book (Baking Made Easy), I decided that enough was enough and I really had to use it. Some of the recipes inside don’t make me confident in the taste, nor do I like the ingredients, or have the time for something that takes too long.
Since I had never made one before, I chose to make probably one of the worst kinds of food known to (wo)man – the quiche Lorraine. A lovely savoury shortcrust filled with creme fraiche, eggs, onion and bacon. However, since I’m a girl about town, I decided to use very low fat creme fraiche, fry the onions in a tiny amount of oil, and grill the bacon. Thus, not adding unnecessary fat to the filling – and easing my guilt a tiny bit more.
As well as in the book, I have been told many times that quiche is so much better when enjoyed the day after it has been made; and this statement is most definitely true. I’m only just starting to get into wine (on the odd occasion, not much of a drinker), but I can imagine the quiche to go with a crisp white wine. I must admit that I had some a day later with some salad, and it was the perfect meal for me when I didn’t fancy anything to big or heavy.
So follow the recipe and enjoy – just like I did!
- 400g-500g shop-bought shortcrust pastry or 1 quantity of shortcrust pastry
- 1.5 tbsp – 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
- 5 rashers of streaky bacon (fat cut off)
- 400 g crème fraîche
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- Black pepper
If making your own shortcrust pastry
If you do want to make your own pastry as I did, the original recipe below is also from the same book by Lorraine Pascale. However, it was very difficult to work with, was dry while making and hard to then form into the flan dish. If you want to achieve something a bit more pliable, I’d suggest having a jug of ice cold water at the ready and using around 20-50 ml of it, depending on how dry it is. You could also try using more butter, possibly around 150-200 g, adding a cube of it at a time and at your own discretion. It really was a nightmare to use, so be patient and think about the end result!
- 250g plain flour
- 125 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 2 egg yolks
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 -2 tbsp water, if needed
If you are using your own pastry:
- Rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and a pinch of salt and stir together with a knife.
- Form the mixture together into a ball.
- If the pastry feels very dry add the water but try and get by without for a more tender pastry. Once the pastry is all smooth together, place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove it from the fridge and let it warm up a little.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/170C fan gas 5.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to just under the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Place the pastry into your dish/tin and ease into the corners – be careful not to stretch it too much, be gentle with it.
- Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Once the pastry is firm, remove it from the fridge and trim the edges.
- Take a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the tart and scrunch it up, then unscrunch it and line the tart with it, taking it right up the sides.
- Fill it with baking beans or dried beans and ‘blind bake’ in the oven for 20 minutes, until the edges are light brown and the base is dry to the touch.
- Remove the baking beans and paper from the pastry case, then return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Turn the oven down to 150°C /130C fan/gas mark 2.
Method (continuing on from the pastry)
- Let’s make the filling! Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat, add the onion and fry until soft and translucent with no colour. Add a touch more oil or water if required.
- Remove the onion from the pan and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan, turn up the heat slightly and cook for approx. 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add half of the bacon to the base of the flan dish.
- Whisk the crème fraîche and the eggs together gently in a large bowl, then season with pepper.
- Stir in the onions.
- Pour the mixture into the flan dish all the way to the top.
- Sprinkle the remaining bacon on top of the quiche and bake in the oven for 30–60 minutes, or until the filling no longer wobbles.