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Sunday, 21 July 2013

QUICHE LORRAINE

Good Morning to you,


I am being watched.... someone is watching my every move. Each time I walk into the kitchen I can feel a pair of  eyes following me and you know who that someone is..... George.  

The day has finally arrived, as promised, I am baking a Quiche Lorraine.  George is waiting in the wings, ready to walk into the kitchen to claim his prize. Once claimed, he will exit stage left, into the garden, sit under the shade and totally enjoy his treat, but for George, that moment of enjoyment has not  yet arrived.... the Quiche has to be made.


.....and this is what all the fuss is about, George's favourite, a Quiche Lorraine.

I have not been able to make this Quiche at my usual slow, rhythmic pace. I have not been able to use my lovely pastry bowl. I have not been able to rub the flour and butter through my fingers, before adding the egg and water, oh no, this time I have had to use the food processor to make the pastry. The essence of today's exercise is speed.

I rarely use the processor to make pastry, but by using it today, it allows me to make the pastry quickly, as at the moment, George reminds me of the donkey from Shrek, who keeps saying "Are we there yet?" "Are we there yet?" but in George's case it is "Is it ready yet?" "Is it ready yet?"

So enough is enough. George has gone to visit Sadie and I have asked him to check to see if the lawn needs cutting. By keeping him busy, he will be out of my hair for a little while, so that I can get on with the Quiche.  The sooner I start, the sooner I will be finished.

So, it is on with the apron and the music I am listening to today, is going to be calming and relaxing, an atmosphere which is conducive to baking,



and what could be more soothing than listening to Julio Iglesias.  I love his rendition of Crazy.


INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY


200g (7 oz) plain flour, sifted
90g (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons of cold water

METHOD


22cm (9 inch) lightly buttered fluted flan tin
baking parchment
baking beans
Oven temperature 180C (350F)


Place the butter, flour and salt into a food
processor and pulse until the mixture resemble
 fine breadcrumbs.

Alternatively you can use the normal
hand method.


Add the egg yolk and pulse.  If the pastry has not
combined, add a tablespoon of cold water and
pulse again, but do not add too much water
as this will make the pastry shrink when baking.
Continue until the pastry has formed a ball, then
wrap the pastry in cling film and place
in the fridge for 1 hour to chill.


Remove the pastry from the fridge and 
roll out until it fits your flan tin.

You can see that I had to patch my pastry
case, as we are experiencing a heatwave at the moment and my house is  unusually hot.
I could not keep the pastry cool, even
though I rolled it on a granite surface.

Don't worry if this happens, as you will not
be able to see the patches. Just make sure
you seal any cracks with pastry as you
do not want the egg mixture to escape
from the pastry case.

I returned my pastry case to the fridge
to cool for another hour.

It was really just as well George was busy at 
Sadie's, as the pastry case took longer
than normal.

After an hour remove the pastry case from the fridge and
prick the surface with a fork to allow
the steam to escape.
  
Place the parchment paper and baking beans
inside the pastry case and bake 
for 10 minutes, then remove the parchment
paper and beans and bake for a further 5-10 minutes.

Keep checking though as you want the pastry
case to be light brown and not golden brown as you are going to return it to the oven.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING


250g (8 oz) of streaky bacon
300 ml (10 fl oz) single cream
2 eggs, beaten together
plus
3 egg yolks
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated


Cut the bacon into bite sizes pieces, I find it
easier to snip the bacon with a pair of scissors.


Dry fry the bacon (without oil) in a small frying pan, until the bacon becomes brown. You will
have a little bacon residue left in the
bottom of the frying pan.

Remove the bacon from the pan and place
on kitchen towel to allow any excess
fat to be absorbed.


Add the finely chopped onions to the frying pan. By using the same pan you will incorporate the bacon flavour into the onions. Cook gently until translucent.


When translucent, remove the onions from the pan and
place on kitchen towel to remove any
excess moisture.


Mix together the cream, egg yolks
and eggs.


Until combined


Place the bacon and onions into the bottom
of the baked pastry case and grate
a little Parmesan cheese on top.  If you
don't have any Parmesan cheese use
Cheddar cheese.


Fill the pastry case with the cream and egg mixture


Bake until golden brown


Allow to cool for 15 minutes
and then
cut a slice to enjoy on it's own
or make a green salad with an olive oil
and lemon dressing to turn this Quiche
into a lovely lunch.



George has returned from Sadie's, he gave a happy shout when he opened the door "yes it's ready..... I can smell it" and helped himself to a huge piece of quiche.  He is now content and a very happy chappy...... and where did he go with his Quiche.... into the garden of course.

There are many ways to make a Quiche Lorraine and the purists will wince at mine, but this is how we eat Quiche in our house, and as I have said many times before, as home bakers, we  tweak a recipe, so that it suits our families needs, for me, that is what home baking is all about.

So however you prefer your Quiche Lorraine, I hope you enjoy it as much as George.

Take care and I will see you later in the week.

This week I will be joining,


and
and




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