Picnic Quiche by Sarah Topps

Here is our entry for the picnic competition. The recipe is for our quiche, which is just one of the great picnic foods and we always seem to fall back on. It travels well, is easy to make and you can use whatever leftovers you like from the fridge! Here we have used panchetta, asparagus, tomotoes, cheese and a red pepper.

For The Pastry:

175g plain flour
100g cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg yolk
4 tsp cold water
pinch of salt

200g pack bacon or panchetta, unsmoked or smoked
150g Cheddar, Pecorino or similar
50g Gorgonzola (if you like it)
6 asparagus spears
1 small red pepper
6 cherry tomaotes, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
100ml milk
200ml double cream or panna da cuccina
5 eggs , well beaten
salt and ground pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
chopped parsley

For the Pastry:

1. Put the flour, butter, egg yolk and 4 tsp cold water into a food processor. Pulse until the mix binds together or if you don’t have a food processor, rub butter into flour with fingertips, then add egg yolk and water and bring into a ball. If you don’t have any fingertips, or are too lazy, buy ready made pastry as it is quite good these days.

2. Tip the pastry onto a floured surface, then roll out to fit your flan tin. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

3. Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base. Trim the pastry edges so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn’t now go below the level of the tin).

4. Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins. Put in the oven and bake blind for 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

1. While the pastry cooks, heat a frying pan, tip in the bacon and fry for a couple of mins until they start to colour.

2. Add sliced onions and peppers and fry gently until the onion browns.

3. Crack eggs into a large bowl and add milk, cream, seasoning and then whisk.

4. Scatter 1/2 the grated cheeses over the bottom of the pastry case. Top with half the egg and milk mixture, then arrange the chopped asparagus, bacon, diced Gorgonzola, peppers, onions, sliced tomatoes and parsley.

5. Add the rest of the egg mixture and top with the remainder of the cheese.

6. Carefully put back in oven on baking sheet.

7. Lower the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Bake for about 25 mins, or until golden and softly set (the centre should not feel too firm).

8.Let the quiche settle for 4-5 mins, then remove from the tin. Cool.

9. Enjoy your picnic!

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