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    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Quiche Lorraine - Plain, Simple, Delicious - Elizabeth David

    The book on the left, is a well used and loved cook book. "French Provincial Cooking" by Elizabeth David. On the right is an excellent collection of her articles from various publications, that she wrote for  between 1955 and 1984.
    Twenty years ago I bought this book "An Omelette and A Glass of Wine" and lent to someone who never returned it.
    Don't you hate that?
    SO I treated myself to a new copy. She is such an inspiration.
    Every time I read her work I have to get into the kitchen.
    The article on Quiche Lorraine had me baking within minutes.
    Usually we all want to embellish simple dishes like this, with addition of cheese maybe onions,
    but try it as the "Lorrainers" have done since the sixteenth century. Just eggs bacon and well seasoned cream.
    To make a Quiche au Fromage Blanc for a change...
    use125 cream cheese mixed with 150 mls cream. same egg and bacon mix

    Anyway back to the Quiche Lorraine

    I used Frozen Puff Pastry, which I had in the freezer for the base and even though it looked wonderful and tasted really good, unfortunately the bottom was not cooked properly.
    I didn't want to leave it in the oven any longer it would have dried out the custard. We ate it.
    We liked it a lot

    I revisited the recipe and decided to remake it. This time I made the pastry myself.
    Also to get a proper cooked bottom, I turned the oven function onto bake (not fan bake which I use all of the time...its just much quicker). Anyhow it was a good move... Beautifully cooked base. Custard just right.
    Worth the extra time to heat up the oven. It wouldn't have hurt to leave it in the oven a little longer.
    Just to puff up that custard a little.
    I will do that next time. The trouble is with the cream and eggs, not good for the waistline
    So I won't be making it again for at least a week.
    The homemade pastry looks much better

    So for a 20 cm flan tin.
    Serve 4 people with a salad and crusty French Bread for lunch
    Or in our case we ate it all, too good to leave.

    I followed the recipe and I made the pastry.
    The recipe was published in the 60's and of course they did it by hand
    But I have found that the trusty food processor also does an excellent job
    Just don't overwork it.
    Preheat oven 200C

    125 gms flour
    Good pinch salt
    70 gms butter cut into small cubes
    1 egg
    A little iced water

    Put flour, salt and butter into food processor
    Pulse till it looks like coarse breadcrumbs
    Add egg pulse
    Add 2 tbs iced water 
    This should be enough water, press the dough with your fingers
    if it stays together the dough is ready

    If still dry, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time

    Turn onto bench knead lightly till it forms a ball
    Push together into a flat disc
    Wrap in shrink wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours
    When ready to go roll out very thin and line   the  greased tin

    For the filling
    6 thin rashers bacon (Cut into 1 inch strips)
    3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
    280 mls double cream
    Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt 
    Ground fresh nutmeg 

    Lightly fry the bacon and place in pastry lined tin.
    Pour over cream and egg mix

    Add cream to well beaten eggs, mix and season with S & P and nutmeg
    Bake in the pre heated oven
    200C for 20 minutes
    Turn heat down to 175C and cook for another 10 - 15  minutes

    Leave for about 5-10 minutes before cutting into slices.
    Enjoy, it's a delight.

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