Didja see what I did there? *chuckle*
I took a sudden fancy for Quiche Lorraine. Yes, I know, there are a billion different quiches out there that are far more exciting and interesting in their ingredients than plain old Quiche Lorraine, but I was feeling a bit de-tuned in the ingredients line at the time.
I wanted something savoury, that could be accompanied by salad. I was also fairly keen to use my new quiche dish again.
The plan (which worked to perfection) was to make sure that the ingredients were the best I could achieve, bearing in mind finance and availability. So that meant shop-bought pastry (because my last attempts at rolling out pastry were a trial, putting it mildly), beautiful Burford Brown eggs (for their unctuous richness and glorious colour), our local butcher's back bacon (because it is by far the best bacon available around here) and some gorgeously strong, salty mature cheddar cheese.
Add to that a pot of cream and some lovely cherry tomatoes and you have all the makings for a superb Quiche Lorraine.
To make extra-sure that the bottom of the pastry was cooked (I have some history with soggy bottoms), I put the pastry back into the oven for five minutes without the baking beans, when I blind baked it. I'll have to remember to do this more often, as it certainly solved the "soggy bottom" problem. The bottom of this pastry was as crisp as you could want - even the next day, when I polished off the last slice cold from the fridge.
QUICHE LORRAINE (Serves 4-5)
1 pack pre-prepared shortcrust pastry, to fit an 8" quiche dish
1 pack back bacon, trimmed of fat
200ml double cream
freshly ground black pepper
a quarter tsp of nutmeg
150g gruyere or mature cheddar cheese
4-5 cherry tomatoes, sliced.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180deg C/356F/Gas 4.
2. Roll out the pastry so that it fits neatly into the quiche dish, with sufficient up the sides to hold the mixture in. Place the pastry gently into the quiche dish and trim any excess.
3. Scrunch up a piece of baking paper that will fit easily into the pastry dish. Smooth it out and put on top of the pastry. Next, fill the pastry case with baking pellets or beans - to prevent the case from bubbling up as it bakes.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans and bake again for another 5 minutes or until the pastry has gained a lovely golden hue.
5. Remove the pastry case from the oven and set aside to cool whilst you make the filling.
6. Cut the bacon into small squares and place into a dry frying pan. Fry until each piece is beginning to caramelise, but before the pieces become crispy. Set aside to cool slightly.
7. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and give them a good whisk. Add the cream, nutmeg and salt & pepper and whisk to combine.
8. Take the pastry case and add the bacon to it.
9. Grate the cheese and add three quarters of the mixture on top of the bacon, then give it all a little mix - making sure the bacon is evenly spread.
10. Pour the egg mixture into the case and give it a very gentle stir around, to make sure it has got under all the cheese.
11. Next, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and lay the slices of tomato over it, in an appealing pattern.
12. Give the tomatoes a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper and place the quiche into the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is risen and golden.
Allow to cool before serving at room temperature with a side salad.