Whilst watching the latest series of Masterchef Australia I was inspired to try and make quiche lorraine. I usually end up watching Masterchef in the evening as I’m doing some recipe translations. It’s a triple whammy of being hungry, watching delicious food being cooked and reading recipe after recipe which usually gives me cravings for whatever recipe I happen to be watching or translating.
175g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
200g pack lardons
200ml creme fraiche
200ml double cream
3 eggs, well beaten
pinch ground nutmeg
- Put flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp of cold water into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together.
- Tip pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball and roll out as thinly as possible. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin and carefully press the pastry in.
- Trim the edges so that it sits slightly taller than the sides of the tin (save any trimmings).
- Prick the base with a fork and chill for 10 minutes. Place a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200c.
- Line the pastry case with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake the pastry on the hot baking sheet for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for 4-5 more minutes until the pastry is a pale golden colour. If you see any small holes or cracks you can patch it up with the pastry trimmings.
- For the filling, heat a small frying pan and fry the lardons for a couple of minutes. Drain any liquid and continue cooking until the lardons just start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
- Cut three quarters of the cheese into a small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter diced cheese and lardons over the bottom of the pastry case.
- With a spoon, beat the creme fraiche to loosen it, then beat in the double cream. Mix in the beaten eggs and season with a bit of salt and nutmeg.
- Pour the filling into the pastry case and scatter the grated cheese over the top.
- Lower the oven temperature to 190c and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm). Allow the quiche to settle for 4-5 minutes, then remove from the tin.
My attempt at quiche was not too bad. It tasted much better than the ready-made ones. The filling was silky smooth and every so slightly wobbly, with chunks of lardons throughout and a generous topping of Gruyere. The pastry, which has never been my strong suite, had room for improvement though.
By the time it was cooked it was almost 2:30 and before I could photograph it properly, my brother and I had already devoured one third…well almost half…