Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quiche Lorraine

I have this thing for meat pies and quiches. There's just something very comforting about biting into pastry and allowing the savoury and pastry bits dance in your mouth and entice your taste buds.

Quiche Lorraine

Adapted from The Big Book of Baking.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Shortcrust Pastry:
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 100g cold butter, cubed finely
  • 4-5 tbsp cold water
  • 15g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 lean streaky bacon rashers, diced
  • 55g of cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 300mL cream
  • pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. For the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and rub the butter with only your fingertips* until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, process it in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in just enough water to bind the mixture to a firm dough. Roll the dough into a ball, place in cling wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to allow the pastry to rest and prevent shrinkage.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a round slightly larger than a 9' tart tin. Lift the pastry onto the tin and press it down into the fluted edge. Trim off excess pastry.
  5. Prick the base all over with a fork and place a sheet of baking paper in the pastry-lined tin and fill with baking beans/rice to weigh it down*.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes. This process is called blind baking.
  7. For the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion and bacon over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and lightly browned.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly in the hot pastry case and sprinkle with half the cheese. Beat together the eggs and cream in a small bowl and season to taste with pepper.
  9. Pour into the pastry case and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 190°C. Place the quiche in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and just set. Cool for 10 minutes before turning out.

Before blind baking.

Out of oven.

* Notes:

- The fingertips are the coolest part of your hands. Using your palm will cause the butter to melt which will alter the texture of the pastry. You want everything to be as cold as possible to result in a short, crispy pastry.

- Blind baking is a method to prevent soggy crust and bottom especially putting in wet ingredients therefore the pastry is baked beforehand. Beans/Rice is used to prevent the pastry from puffing up during blind baking. Be sure to put sufficient beans to press against the sides as the sides may also puff up.

Definitely something I would remake over and over again. After all, you know it's pretty good when you receive thumbs of approval from your family. ;)


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