Quiches are very versatile and can be served as starters, snacks and main courses and are ideal for serving when dining outside. They are also great for buffets or if you have a large number of guests.
Yes, I know that the recipe presented here is not the classic Quiche Lorraine (if you are after the classic, see this recipe for Quiche Lorraine). However, this version is intended as a more substantial lunchtime or even picnic dish that is lower in fat than the original.
Quiche LorraineServes: 6
For the Pastry:250g (2 cups) plain flour
pinch of salt
125g (4 oz) cold butter (or half butter and half lard)
90ml (1/3 cup) cold water, to blend
For the Filling:2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
60g (2 oz) streaky bacon, rinds removed then chopped
15g (1/2 oz) butter
2 tbsp plain flour
375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
salt, to taste
1 tsp paprika
60g (2 oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Method:Begin with the pastry: sift together the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the water and mix together to a fairly stiff (but still pliable) dough.
Turn onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead lightly, until smooth then shape into a ball. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
After this time, turn the pastry out onto a lightly-floured work surface and roll out thinly into a round. Use this pastry to line a 25cm (10 in) diameter fluted flan tin. Trim the edges neatly then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
For the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan, add the shallots and bacon and fry gently until golden brown (about 8 minutes).
In a small bowl, mix the flour with a little of the milk until smooth. Stir in the remaining milk then beat in the eggs along with the salt and paprika.
Prick the base of the quiche pastry with a fork then scatter over the bacon and shallots. Pour in the egg mixture, filling the pastry completely then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 220ºC (410ºF, Gas Mark 7) and bake for about 30 minutes or until just set and golden brown on top. If necessary, cover the pastry with foil towards the end of cooking to prevent the quiche from browning too quickly.
When done, allow the quiche to cool slightly then either turn out onto a plate or serve directly from the baking tin. Sprinkle the top with chopped parsley and serve.