Monday, 10 April 2017

Something Savoury: Bacon and Onion Quiche (Wheat Free)

Bonjour, mes amis! Aujourd'hui, j'ai un repas pour vous: quiche, au bacon et onion!


I did French to leaving cert when I was 17, so by now it's a little rusty. However, my delight in French cuisine has not faded.

Having said that, I've never been the world's biggest fan of quiche. I've always been fed shop-bought varieties that are somehow simultaneously gelatinous and dry. But, my companion loves to eat it as a lunch.

Quiche is something that is quite present in the lives of English (and somewhat English) people, as English cookery is actually quite heavily influenced by French and German cuisine. Seeing that English renditions of European foods tend to be quite heavy and stodgy, I assumed that it was the same for quiche.... until I saw a quiche being made by a French woman.

I have a close friend who I visit often, and her housemate it French. I saw her making a quiche for herself, and when I asked her how she was making it her response was quite simply: It's like omelette in a pastry, and the pastry it has to be made with butter, otherwise it's not good. She didn't seem to be using any scales or measurements either, except to say that you use roughly twice as much milk as egg, and the quiche that resulted looked quite tasty!

Turns out that French people also like stodge, it seems. And it also seems that quiche is quite forgiving, and doesn't need precise measurements.


Although I heard straight from the horse's mouth that the pastry has to be made with only butter, I've never been the biggest fan of all butter pastry in savoury food. It's something I associate with sweet tarts, and find way too heavy going for a savoury dish, especially something as heavy as quiche (sorry, French housemate). As such I use a shortcrust pastry made in part with sunflower oil, which I know it completely blasphemous, but hey ho.

INGREDIMENTS
To make one 9 inch (22 centimetre) quiche

For pastry,
  • 10 ounces (280 grammes) white spelt flour, cold
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2½ ounces (70 grammes) butter, cold
  • 2½ fluid ounces (5 tablespoons, 75 millilitres) sunflower oil
  • Cold water, to combine
For the filling,

  • 4 ounces (115 grammes) bacon rashers cut into little pieces, or lardons
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 ounces (55 grammes) medium chedder cheese, grated
  • 3 medium eggs
  • Half an imperial pint (1¼ cups, 285 millilitres) whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

HOW-TO

First, make the pastry
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together. Grate in the butter, dipping it in the flour every few strokes and tossing the flour around to stop everything from sticking. Once the butter is grated in, gently rub with your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs. Alternatively, which is what I do, you can keep running handfuls of the mixture through the grater instead of rubbing with the fingertips.
  • When the butter is rubbed in, add in the oil. Rub again gently, only to mix the oil through.
  • Mixing with the tip of a knife, add the water gradually until it forms a nice soft dough.
  • Form into a disc, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for an hour.
Next, prepare the fillings
  • In a non-stick frying pan set over the hob with the heat off, add the bacon and turn the heat onto medium.
  • Once the pan has fully heated, cook the bacon until well browned and all visible fat is thoroughly cooked.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the oil it has rendered behind in the pan. Add in the onions and cook over medium heat until well browned and fragrant.
  • Allow the bacon and onion to fully cool.
Then, blind bake the pastry case
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface and fit into a 9 inch (22 centimetre) straight sided pie dish. My one is ceramic, but a metal or glass one would work so much better.
  • Trim the edges, and prick the base and sides all over with a fork. Put in the fridge for about half an hour. 
  • While it's chilling, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, Gas Mk.7), with a flat baking tray in the oven on the centre shelf. Make sure the tray is large enough to accommodate your pie dish.
  • Now it's time to blind bake the pastry case. Take out of the fridge, and line the whole case with a piece of tin foil, pressing it into every nook and cranny. Crumple any excess into the middle, making sure the foil is still covering all the pastry.
  • Place in the oven directly on top of the preheated tray, and bake for about 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the foil and bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden and fully cooked.
Finally, assemble and bake the quiche
  • Remove the blind baked case from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F, Gas Mk.4).
  • Sprinkle the bacon and onion evenly on the bottom of the quiche, then top with about half the cheese.
  • In a jug, beat together the eggs and milk, and season it to taste (I personally have no problem with tasting raw egg, but that's up to you).
  • Pour the egg and milk mixture into the quiche, and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Return to the oven, on top of the tray as before, and cook for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and crispy, the filling is slightly puffy, and when you touch the centre it feels set and no longer liquid.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for about 20 minutes before serving, to let it set a little more. Or, you can let it cool to room temperature, chill it, and serve it cold.

No blog from this time in 2014

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