I’m generally pretty good at bringing packed lunches with me to work. It’s a great way of saving a surprising amount of money when you are on a budget. My standard is cous cous with tomatoes, peppers, spring onion and feta cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar but, as good as that is, having it every day, week in week out, does get pretty old. So I figured I’d mix things up and make a quiche instead. Although I never really buy quiche, it is one of my favourite lunchtime treats. Especially Quiche Lorraine – egg, cheese, bacon, all wrapped in a pastry base. What’s not to love?
I decided on a bacon and asparagus quiche. You can’t beat bacon and there was already asparagus in the fridge. It took me a while to find all the bits I needed in the small shops near me in Streatham Hill. I picked up an onion from the Mediterranean grocers at the end of my road (along with other bits and pieces not relevant here – I didn’t go there for one onion) and ended up in Sainsburys for the rest. But I’ve become such a food shopping pro that I knew pretty much exactly how much the equivalent stuff cost in Tesco so I grabbed a couple of bits and then went to Tesco for the cheaper stuff. It might have been the difference of a few pence but it’s hard to shake that student-living-budget mindset!
Finally I arrived home and just as I walked through my front gate I realised I’d forgotten the flour. You can’t make pastry without flour. Originally I was just going to buy the pre-made stuff but then I figured I should probably do it properly – and then forgot the key ingredient, so back I went.
Eventually, I was back in the house and cooking away. My quiche filling seemed to take a while to set. I thought It would only need to be in the oven for half an hour tops but it was more like 40-5o minutes. I think perhaps I could have taken it out earlier and the filling would have continued to set as it stood and cooled but 50 minutes didn’t do it any harm.
Surprisingly, my first attempt at a quiche actually turned out pretty good. It was tasty and gave me plenty for my week’s lunches. Having said that, I actually tried to several different things today (banana oatmeal cakes, honey roasted chickpeas, zucchini crisps and banana and cinnamon bites- and this is the only one that is actually going to end up on here. Nearly everything else has ended up burnt and in the bottom of my bin.
- 175g plain flour
- 100g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 285ml single cream
- 150ml milk
- 150g cheddar cheese
- 4 tsp cold water
- 6 rashers bacon
- 6 asparagus sticks
- 1 (large-ish) onion
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Black pepper
- Heat the oven to 200°C.
- First off, you need to make the pastry. Mix together the flour, butter, egg yolk and water in a bowl and then use your fingers to rub the mixture together. Keep going until it ends up like breadcrumbs.
- Form a ball with the pastry (I did end up adding a few more teaspoons of water to make it form better but then this did make it a bit sticky!) and then cover it with clingfilm and pop in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes.
- Once chilled, dust a chopping board with flour, take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out as thin as possible. It needs to be big enough to line your pie dish.
- Grease the inside of the pie dish with some butter and then line it with the pastry. Trim any overhanging edges. If some of the pastry edges don’t meet the edge of your dish, stick on any trimmed bits to those areas.
- Use a fork to lightly prick a few holes in the base of the pastry. Then cover the pastry using a piece of foil. The foil should be slightly off the bottom of the pastry.
- Cut up the asparagus sticks and place them on top of the foil. Pop the dish in the oven for 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes is up, take away the foil and asparagus and bake in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Slice and dice the onion and bacon rashers. Fry the onion until it starts to become translucent and then add the bacon. Fry until the bacon is cooked through and starts to brown.
- Beat the eggs, cream and milk together using a fork or whisk.
- Grate the cheese and mix it into the eggs, cream and milk, along with the nutmeg and a few twists of black pepper.
- Stir in the bacon, onion and asparagus and pour the filling mixture into the pastry.
- Pop in the oven and bake. Like I said above, mine took 40-50 minutes but check how it’s getting on after 20 and 30 minutes.