If, like me, your culinary tastes were framed by the 1970’s, the word “quiche” may send a shiver up your spine. I resisted quiche for decades, until a visit to Normandy a few years back, when I tried Quiche Lorraine from a little bakery. I fell in love with the delicate little custard-pastry that was light years away from the stodgy spinach-filled omelet tarts of many years ago. I found it very hard to find a nice Quiche Lorraine in the UK, and I still do not understand how anybody could take hold of such a sweet, delicate, little savoury and ruin it so completely. Why try to improve on something so perfect as Quiche Lorraine? It is like trying to improve on a rainbow or a sunrise – impossible.
Even here in New Zealand, which has a far more refined Cafe culture than the UK, there is nothing quite up to par with the French original, although bacon and egg tarts and flans can come close (not to be confused with bacon and egg pie, which is a completely different concept).
So, today I dusted off my recipe for what has to be one of the finest of French foods, and baked me some quiche. There are two slight problems, I should point out from the start. Lardons cannot be found here, and while they are not essential, they are nice, because you get little morsels of bacon, rather than chooped slices. Cream can be used, but I am a big fan of Creme Fresh. It is not easily found here, and when found, is not cheap. I will be investigating whether yoghurt or buttermilk can be utilised instead. I have made the pastry myself in the past, but life is short, so why bother? I use frozen shortcrust pastry from the supermarket. The Onion and Cheese are ‘enhancements’, and not necessary. So, for the purest Quiche, can be left out.
100 grams bacon, chopped small.
1 small onion, finely chopped.
2 large eggs, 2 egg yolks.
200 ml creme fresh.
salt & pepper to taste.
100 gram Cheddar Cheese.
50 gram milk.
2 sheets of shortcrust pastry.
Preparation & Cooking:
Add some oil or butter to a frying pan, and slowly start to brown onions.
Chop the bacon, and add to onions in pan.
Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 200C (180c for fan-assisted).
Grease small individual quiche baking dishes and line with pastry, bottom and sides, and pierce bottom with fork.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes, until pastry starts to brown.
In a bowl, beat eggs, creme fresh, milk and half the cheese, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Add a layer of the fried bacon (& onion) to the bottom of the pastry.
Pour the custard mix over the bacon mix in the pastry until just below the top of the pastry.
Dust the top of the quiche with the remaining cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Decorate with a slice of tomato, or a sprig of parsley.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the custard has set and starts to brown.
Remove from oven, and place on a cooling rack, turning out from dishes when cooled.
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