Updated: Nov 14, 2020
This is definitely the most luxurious quiche I've ever made - I usually make it just as a traditional Quiche Lorraine (my favourite recipe, which this one is based on, is from BBC Food online), with lardons and whatever cheese I have (ideally gruyère) but I think this version is superior, despite being somewhat of a purist. All of my recipes are repeated often, though usually with slight adjustments depending what I have in the fridge at the time. Sometimes though, I chance upon what I consider to be a masterpiece, and this is it! The pastry is quite delicate, but it would be fine with thinly rolled bought shortcrust pastry, or use the whole egg and omit the water if you want it to be more robust.
100g cold butter
175g plain flour
1 egg yolk
4 tsp cold water
250g smoked lardons
1 courgette/zucchini, grated
a large handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped
3 eggs, beaten
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dijon mustard
½ tsp ground white pepper
200g crème fraîche
200mL double cream
50g mature cheddar, cut in to small cubes
50gm mature cheddar, grated
salt and black pepper
For the pastry, put all the ingredients in to a food processor and process until the pastry binds and forms in to a ball. Tip it out on to a floured board and roll out thinly. Grease a deep 23cm loose-bottomed flan tin very well, then lift the pastry in to the tin, patching if you need to, and gently work around the edges to press it in to the edges/flutes of the tin. When you trim the pastry, make sure you have the edges sitting slightly above the height of the tin to allow for shrinkage. Next, put a baking sheet in to the oven and turn the oven on to preheat to 200°C/fan 180°C. Lightly prick the pastry with a fork, and chill the pastry base for 10 minutes while the oven heats up.
After the base has chilled, line it with baking paper and fill it with baking beads or raw rice/beans. Blind bake the base for 15 minutes, after which, remove the paper and beads. If you notice any small holes or cracks, patch up with pastry trimmings and bake for 4-5 mins more until the pastry is pale golden.
While the pastry cooks, prepare the filling. Gently fry the lardons in a small frying pan, but only until they *just* colour, so they're still plump and juicy. With a slotted spoon, removed the lardons and place them on a paper towel to drain. Then, add the grated zucchini to the pan and quickly fry in the rendered lardon fat. Again, remove and drain on paper towels.
Scatter the lardons, zucchini, parsley and cubes of cheddar evenly on the pastry base.
Whisk together the beaten eggs, crème fraîche, double cream, nutmeg, white pepper, mustard and a light milling of salt and black pepper. Pour most of the filling in to the pastry case, then place it on the tray in the oven, and pour the rest in with the oven shelf half-out so you can fill it to the top without spilling it! Scatter on the grated cheese. Lower the oven temperature a little to 190°C/fan 170°C and bake for 25 minutes, until golden and set but still a little wobbly. Rest the quiche for 5 minutes, then remove the ring from the tin by placing it on a bowl and serve with a few green leaves and an excellent sauvignon blanc.
To make this vegetarian, replace the lardons with a little olive oil, garlic and chopped mushrooms.
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