I was wondering what to bake this weekend when the better half requested a quiche. Orders given, I dived into my recipe books to refresh my memory and check ingredients for my shopping list. I’m doing my normal trick of combining elements from different recipes and the pastry is adapted from Repentant Carnivores and the filling from the ever reliable Hairy Bikers. This recipe is made a little healthier by using a low fat pastry, half fat crème fraiche, and by trimming the rind from the bacon. A good job too as we tend to follow the Marjorie from Little Britain example, if it is half the fat you can eat twice as much! 😀
Time 1 hour prep and 1 hour cooking
- Wholemeal Pastry
- 175g Plain Flour
- 50g Wholemeal Flour
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- 50 ml Vegetable Oil (Sunflower)
- 5 tbsp Water
- 1 Egg beaten
- 200g Bacon
- 1 Onion
- 75 g Gruyere cheese (grated)
- 3 Eggs
- 200 ml Half Fat Crème Fraiche
- 300 ml Single Cream
- Pinch Salt
This pastry is similar to one I have already posted (low fat pasties) with a few little tweaks. I had some wholemeal flour that I really need to start using up as it has been in my cupboard for a few months and I thought that a hint of nutmeg would also add to the flavour of the finished quiche. I sieved both flours and the nutmeg together into a bowl. I always sieve my flour, I actually tutted at Paul Hollywood on Bake Off Masterclass when he said he didn’t, but with wholemeal flour you do get left with some of the grains after sifting so just tip these in as well as the job of sifting is to ensure there will be no clumps.
In a small jug or mug, mix the vegetable oil with the 5 tbsp of water to emulsify. It will turn into a milky like liquid and should thicken a little. I made a well in the flour and poured in the water/oil mixture and also added 2 tbsp of beaten egg. You can start the pastry off by mixing with a wooden spoon to start with and then finally bringing it together with your hands but I prefer to just get my fingers in from the start. A tbsp more of water may be required to give it enough moisture for the pastry to come together in a ball. I prefer to wrap the pastry in clingfilm and chill for 10 mins in the fridge but you can roll out immediately.
Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin, I use a Bake O Glide pastry mat as it makes it a lot easier to clear up and also has handy measurements on. Roll out the pastry to fit your tin, I am using a rectangular fluted tin but a 23cm round one will work as well. One of the reasons I love this pastry so much is that you can roll it out thinner than a normal shortcrust, roughly 2ml thick as opposed to the 3-4 ml (pound coin thickness) required for the latter.
Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin and then unroll it over your tin/dish. I find this is far easier than trying to transfer by hand. Lift the edges and gently push down to fit the pastry to the edge of the tin without stretching the pastry further. Gently apply pressure to the excess pastry to trim the edges and use the offcuts to patch if required. Using your fingers press the pastry sides into the flutes until the pastry sits a couple of millimetres proud of the tin. Brush with beaten egg, this helps to create a moisture barrier to prevent the filling giving you a soggy bottom (the second biggest bake off crime after being underdone). Keep any remaining beaten egg to add to the filling later. Chill for another 20 mins and preheat the oven to 180oC.
Whilst the pastry is chilling finely chop the onion (I used a food processor) and slice the bacon into 2cm x 1cm strips. Just to make it slightly healthier I trim any rind off the bacon as they say in Tesco ‘Every little helps’. In a little drizzle of olive oil fry the bacon and onion until they start to brown and leave to cool.
Put the pastry tin on a baking tray (it makes it far easier to move and will capture any spills when filling later) and blind bake the pastry for 15 mins. Then remove the baking beads and bake for another 5 mins. Due to the wholemeal flour and the nutmeg it will have a slightly darker hue than normal shortcrust. Turn the oven down to 160oC. Meanwhile make the rest of the filling by lightly beating the eggs (add in any remaining beaten egg from the pastry stage). Gently whisk in the crème fraiche and cream and season with a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. The Hairy Bikers advise a wooden spoon but I’ve found a balloon whisk works better.
Spoon the bacon and onion into the pastry case, ensuring it is evenly spread out and then sprinkle with the grated gruyere cheese. Pour over ½ the egg and cream mixture and transfer to the oven. Pull the shelf out a little and pour in the remaining egg and cream mixture. Bake for an hour until the top starts to colour and there is no wobble. The quiche can be eaten after resting for a few minutes or my preference is to make it ahead of time and cool completely, then cover in foil and reheat for 15 mins in a 140oC oven. Alternatively it can be eaten cold so perfect for picnics although a bit late for those in the northern hemisphere!