So good that our friend’s David & Nicola fed this to their two-year old son Theo and he had seconds! We had trouble with the pastry, but the humid day really didn’t help. If you’re having trouble put the pastry in the fridge after bringing it together in the food processor to keep it cold, it will really help.
We served this at a French-themed dinner party where everyone brought a course and a complimentary wine to go with it. There was Quiche Lorraine for starter, leg of lamb roasted with lots of garlic and served with dauphinoise potatoes, an apple tarte tatin and some French cheeses. We are now all on a diet!
Quiche Lorraine – cuts into 8 slices
For the pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 200g pancetta, sliced into cubes
- 50g Gruyère
- 200ml carton crème fraîche
- 200ml double cream
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- pinch ground nutmeg
- For the pastry, put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4tsp cold water into a food processor. Use the pulse button to process until the mixture binds. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin with the pastry. Trim the edges with scissors so it sits slightly above the tin – this way it will not shrink below the level of the tin (don’t throw the trimmings away yet). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 minutes. Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 189C/gas 6.
- Line the pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 4-5 minutes until the pastry is pale golden. If there are any small cracks or holes use your pastry trimmings to patch them. This part can be done the day before.
- Heat a small frying pan and fry the pancetta for a couple of minutes. Drain off any liquid, then continue cooking until they start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Cut three quarters of the cheese into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced cheese and pancetta over the bottom of the pastry case.
- Using a spoon, beat the crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs. Season, but go easy on the salt, and add nutmeg. Pour three-quarters of the filling into the pastry case.
- Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the mixture into the case – so you get it right up to the top. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back in. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden and softly set (the centre doesn’t need to be too firm). Let it settle for 4-5 minutes before removing from the tin.