Eva had mastered pastry making by sticking to a foolproof no nonsense recipe for short-crust pastry, it dated back to an old secondary school cookery book for a home economics class.
She liked to add leek to her Quiche Lorraine instead of onion.
First make short-crust pastry which will need to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
You will need:
250g plain flour
125g butter (cold)
½ tsp salt
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp water
Flour for dusting and kneading, etc.
Sift the flour into a bowl, chop the butter into cubes and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the salt and then use a fork to begin to bring the dough together with the egg-yolk and the cold water.
Use your hands to gather the pastry dough into a ball and then knead it lightly on a floured board.
Shape into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and press out into a disc shape and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30minutes before use.
Bacon and Leek Quiche Lorraine
You will need:
1 quantity shortcrust pastry (above)
40g unsalted butter
8 bacon rashers
3tbsp Dijon mustard
250g Gruyere or any hard cheese (a combination of cheddar and Parmesan works well)
Sea salt and ground pepper
Flour for dusting
Butter to grease tin
Divide the pastry in two and roll each half out on a floured board, and use to line a 20cm loose–bottomed greased cake tin. Try to have some pastry coming up over the edge of the tin to allow for shrinkage.
Chill the pastry lined tins in the fridge for 15minutes, then prick the base of the pastry with a fork, line it with parchment paper and fill with pie-weights or dry beans.
While the pastry lined tins are chilling, pre-heat the oven to 160oC/Gas Mark4.
Bake blind in the preheated oven for 15minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and return the pastry cases to the oven for 5–10minutes, until very lightly coloured.
While the pastry is baking blind, prepare the filling.
Prepare the leeks by cutting off the root and discarding any darker outer leaves. Slice the leek in half lengthways and rinse under a cold tap. Finely slice the leek and rinse again in a colander(as the leek grows in layers dirt can get trapped in between).
Chop the rashers with kitchen scissors.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks and rashers over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes until the leeks soften.
Whisk the eggs, Dijon mustard and cream together in a bowl.
Grate the cheese and add to the egg mixture, season with salt and black pepper and add the leak and bacon and pour into the part–baked pastry cases.
Bake at 180oC/Gas Mark 6 for 25–30 minutes or until set and golden.
Eva went to bed with a heavy feeling in her stomach that night. It was nothing to do with emotions this time just over-eating. Fresh pastry was irresistible, she wouldn’t have been quite so full if she hadn’t eaten the pastry remnants on the kids’ plates as well as her own when she tidied up. Eating their leftovers would be her downfall.
Click here to find the romance novel ‘Good Enough’ by Sheila Kiely