It's National Picnic Week, so if you're gearing up for a get together with friends and family this weekend, why not whip up something easy to eat such as Mary Berry's fail-safe classic French Quiche Lorraine recipe. It's from her new book Mary Berry's Cookery Course: A step-by-step masterclass in home cooking. Add to it a Pimm's Hamper, such as this one that's on promotion at ACHICA today, and you'll be all set for summer...
'A classic French quiche is a great stand-by for lunch or supper,' says Mary. 'Baking the pastry “blind” first, without the filling, ensures that the pastry case is cooked through so it doesn’t get a soggy bottom.'
Mary Berry Quiche Lorraine recipe
175g (6oz) unsmoked streaky bacon rashers, rinds removed, cut into strips
1 onion, peeled and chopped
125g (41⁄2oz) Gruyère cheese, grated
2 large eggs
250ml (9fl oz) single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
85g (3oz) hard block margarine or chilled butter, cut into cubes
1. First make the pastry: tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the margarine or butter and rub in gently with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 3 tablespoons cold water until the pastry comes together in a ball.
2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 20cm (8in) loose-bottomed flan tin. Ideally, use a fluted tin.
3. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C/425°F/Gas 7). Blind bake the pastry case (prick the pastry base - line the base and sides with baking parchment and weigh it down with baking beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake empty for a further 10 minutes until lightly browned).
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/Gas 4). Crisp the bacon in a sauté pan over a medium heat for 10 minutes, as shown below. Transfer to the cooled pastry case with a slotted spoon. Leave the juices in the pan.
5. Place the onion in the pan and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes, or until golden. Add to the quiche and top with the cheese.
6. In a bowl, combine the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper, then pour into the quiche. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden and just set. Be careful not to overcook the quiche, or the filling will become tough and full of holes.
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor