Deadlines are looming, the weather is cold and miserable, and summer is a distant memory. But for me, these memories of my culinary adventures in Europe are what keep me in the kitchen and out of the library. The inspiration for this recipe is taken from a picnic I had in Versailles. I could not have felt more like Marie Antoinette eating Brie with a baguette in this historical village. This is a traditional Quiche Lorraine, but feel free to substitute the filling with personal favourites. Vive la France et la quiche!
Short-crust pastry ingredients:
- 180g plain flour
- 90g chilled butter (soft enough to work with)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch salt
- Ice-cold water
To make the pastry, use a wooden spoon to beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until soft and creamy. Quickly mix in the flour followed by the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water, taking care not to overwork. Shape into a smooth ball adding a little more water if the pastry is too crumbly.
Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour. Remove the pastry from the fridge 30 minutes before you need it.
For the filling
- 150g lardons or cubes of smoked bacon
- 4 eggs & 2 egg yolks (save the white to brush the pastry)
- 300g crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick and use to line a 25cm quiche tin that is at least 3cm deep. Brush the pastry base with egg white. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Fry the lardons in a non-stick frying pan until golden brown then lift out with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on paper towels. Lightly beat the eggs and yolks. Then mix in the crème fraiche and seasoning.
Scatter the lardons on the pastry case and pour in the egg mix. Bake for 30-45 mins until the filling is golden brown and set. Serve warm or cold with a crisp and fresh salad.