Quiche Lorraine…yes, I did mean that

Quiche? Quiche you ask? Have I gone mad and slipped back in time to the days when olive oil was something kept in the medicine cabinet, pork belly was the bit you threw away and lentils were only for the hairy, unwashed people at university? Well, no, I’m still very much a lentil girl (Puy, naturellement) but as I flicked through The Good Cook by Simon Hopkinson this morning I came across his recipe for quiche Lorraine and realised that a) it was really easy and b) I had all the ingredients. And, since there is nothing in this world more likely to make me cook something than having everything in the house, I decided to try it.

One of the things I wanted to use up was a packet of shortcrust so my version was a good few steps quicker than his and, my, it is so easy and yummy. As this is a very classic Lorraine, with no faffing about adding cheese or onion, it’s simpler than most. Why am I not making quiches all the time?

I have one complaint about this recipe which is that, having for once followed it to a T, no cutting in half or anything, I had far too much creamy egg sauce. If I’d used it all, the pastry case would have been drowned in the stuff. I think two eggs, two yolks and 200ml of cream would be plenty but, until I’ve tested it, I’ll stick to his proportions. Be warned though; you may find yourself having an omelette too the next day…

Quiche Lorraine (adapted from The Good Cook)

For a 20cm tart you will need:
Cupboard or things you may already have
eggs, 3 plus 4 yolks (yes, yes, meringues to be made after this)
sea salt and pepper (white a/c to his recipe; I used black)
nutmeg, about a teaspoon, preferably freshly grated

Shopping list
shortcrust pastry, about 200-250g
streaky bacon rashers, about six
double cream, 400ml

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan-assisted/gas 4 and put a flat baking sheet in to heat up.
2. Roll the pastry out to a thin circle and line a 20cm tart tin with it (no greasing required). Prick the base with a fork, cover with foil then cover the foil with either baking beans, dried beans (such as chick peas or haricot) or uncooked rice (any sort…). Bake on the sheet for about 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans/rice (they can be kept and re-used) and put the pastry case/tin and baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the pastry is cooked and golden.
3. Whilst the pastry is baking dry-fry the bacon until the fat starts to run and it begins to crisp up a little. Remove from the pan and put on some kitchen paper to soak up any residual fat then spread evenly out on the base of the pastry case.
4. Mix the eggs, egg yolks, cream and nutmeg together, season then pour over the bacon (as I said you may not need all of it; I didn’t).
5. Bake until puffed and golden, about 35 minutes in my case and then leave to cool. It should be served at room temperature or warm, not hot.

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