Lovely quiche from Simple Secrets to Cooking Everything Better by Matt Preston.
I know it’s stupid, but about twelve years ago I got it into my head that the word ‘quiche’ sounded like ‘kiss’ – if said when a bit tiddly and trying to get amorous with a barmaid called Lorraine. Obviously that is stupid, but then . . . so am I. And I should stop writing this stream of consciousness stuff before you realise that I am actually as shallow as a puddle on a hot day in Mildura. What I should really say is, ‘Make this quiche, because it is one of those things (like cornflakes and cold milk) that you forget how good it is until you try it again!’
Oh, and this recipe is loaded with really good secrets for perfect quiche and tart making.
250 g plain flour
ó teaspoon salt flakes
190 g butter, diced
2 small eggs (use 1 for brushing
olive oil, for frying
200 g kaiserfleisch or bacon (uncooked),
sliced about 4 mm thick
1 Å~ 200 g tub crème fraîche
150 ml milk
2 egg yolks
150 g gruyère, grated
4 grates of fresh nutmeg
salt flakes and freshly ground
For the pastry, blitz the flour, salt and butter in your food processor until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Yes, I know it’s contrary to the received wisdom of the granny skills movement, who espouse the use of just the right hand for pastry, but using a processor is quicker and colder than using your hands. Especially when you’ve got big hot hands like mine. This is an important SECRET.
Beat one of the eggs lightly, then add it to the flour and process until the mixture just comes together. Tip it onto a clean surface and, if necessary, quickly knead it into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This lets the gluten in the flour relax, making for more tender pastry. There’s another SECRET!
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a 22 Å~ 3–4 cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
For the filling, heat a little oil in a small frying pan. If using kaiserfleisch, then fry it for just a few minutes so as not to dry it out. If you have supermarket bacon you will need to fry it for a bit longer as it will contain a lot more water and you will need to dry it out. Once cooked, remove it from the pan and leave to cool.
Combine the crème fraîche and milk in a bowl and whisk them together to combine. Add the eggs and yolks and whisk again. You can add the cooled bacon at any time to allow the flavour to infuse the cream. Add the grated cheese, nutmeg and seasonings and pour into the tart shell.
Roll out your dough and lift it onto the prepared tin. Line the pastry with foil or baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Blind bake the base of the tart for 20 minutes. This will stop your tart having a doughy bottom. That’s your third key SECRET in this recipe – albeit one that could perhaps be phrased a little better, so as to avoid puerile sniggering from your partner who’s reading this over your shoulder.
When the tart shell comes out of the oven, remove the foil and baking beans. Lightly beat the remaining egg and use it to brush over the base to seal it. Place the tart shell back into the oven on a baking tray (SECRET!) and pour in your filling (SECRET!). Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until the centre of the tart is no longer liquid (SLIGHTLY OBVIOUS SECRET). The cooking time can vary so keep an eye on it.
The quiche can be served immediately or reheated at a later time.
FINAL SECRET: Kaiserfleisch can be bought from a good German or Austrian butcher and has a strong smoky-bacon flavour that works perfectly in this tart. You will also find it in larger supermarkets and decent butchers these days. It is also one of the most widely used ingredients in this book.