Quiche – Serves 6
Use ready-made pastry for this dish to save time. Mary Berry does it!
Replace bacon with vegetables such as courgettes or broccoli florets.
175g plain flour
100g butter or margarine
Water to mix
100g bacon cut into pieces – optional
100g grated cheese
- Preheat the oven 200°C/Gas 6.
- Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs and add enough water to make a firm dough.
- Line a 20 cm diameter flan tin with pastry, fill with baking paper and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes.
- Turn down the oven to 160°C/Gas 3.
- Fry the bacon until crisp. Place the bacon and 75g cheese in the flan case.
- Beat eggs and milk and season. Strain over the bacon and cheese. Top with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until the filling is set. Serve hot or cold.
The science bit
If the pastry has not been handled too much, the gluten does not develop and make it tough.
The pastry becomes crisp during baking as the gluten in the flour coagulates and becomes crisp with heat.
In a quiche, the egg is used to set the liquid filling. The egg denatures then coagulates with heat, becomes semi-solid and sets, forming a network which forms a matrix through the mixture.
If the egg mixture is over cooked, the protein denatures, coagulates and shrinks and squeezes out the liquid. This is called syneresis and makes the filling tough with holes.
This happens if the quiche or custard is cooked for too long at too high a temperature.