Bakes & More + yummy

Bacon, cheese and leek quiche

Every summer, we used to drive down to our house in France. The journey was often split over two days and we would arrive in the late afternoon tired and grumpy, fed up of each other's company and of sitting in a car.

As we drove through the local town, we'd stop the car and my mum would dash out to get the necessary provisions for the first night. From the bakery, she would always buy a couple of individual quiche. After two days of travelling and eating by the side of a motorway, my brother and I would be hungry in the 'I need food NOW' way that children have.

As soon as we got to the house, we'd tumble out the car, pounce on the quiches and sit in the edge of the terrace, bathed in the warm glow of the evening sun, and divide up the quiches with scant attention to etiquette. As we sated our hunger, the growing realisation crept over us that we were, finally, on holiday.

Of course, eating quiche these days isn't quite such a transformative process, particularly when you are eating a leftover slice with a plastic fork at your desk while desperately trying to work out why your spreadsheet won't add up.

I haven't made pastry for a very long time; so long that I'd forgotten how straightforward it is and the simple combination of a strong chedder, bacon and leeks was always going to be a winner. I made this quiche when some friends came round for our Eurovision party a couple of weeks ago and it was so good that we were still eating it for breakfast the next day.

Bacon, cheese and leek quiche (serves 6)
Adapted from Rachel Allen

For the pastry:
200g plain (all-purpose) flour
100g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 pinch of salt
1 medium egg, beaten

For the filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
6 rashes of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 large leek, chopped
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
250ml double cream
1 tbsp chopped parsley
100g chedder cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. To make the pastry, rub together the flour, salt and butter with your hands until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Gradually add the egg until you can bring the mixture together (this may not need the whole egg).
2. Bring the dough together into a ball and flatten it until it is about an inch thick. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180oC.
4. When the pastry is chilled, roll it out and line a 19cm, deep sided tart tin with it. Cover the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with baking beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and the baking beans and bake for a further five minutes to get a golden crust.
5. For the filling, heat the olive oil in small frying pan and cook the bacon for 2-3 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for a further 5 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the leeks are soft.
6. In a large bowl, whisk together the two eggs and the two egg yolks. Add the cream, parsley, cheese and and bacon and leek mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Pour the filling into the pastry and bake for 30-40 minutes until the middle is set. Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack. Can be served warm or cold.

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Bacon, cheese and leek quiche + yummy