Ultimate quiche Lorraine

The key to making the perfect quiche is simplicity, as you can see with this tasty recipe

Method

Tip the pastry onto a lightly floured surface, gather into a smooth ball, then roll out as thinly as you can.

Line a 23 x 2.5cm loose-bottomed, fluted flan tin, easing the pastry into the base.

Trim the pastry edges with scissors (save any trimmings) so it sits slightly above the tin (if it shrinks, it shouldn’t now go below the level of the tin). Press the pastry into the flutes, lightly prick the base with a fork, then chill for 10 mins.

Put a baking sheet in the oven and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line pastry case with foil, shiny side down, fill with dry beans and bake on the hot sheet for 15 mins.

Remove foil and beans and bake for 4-5 mins more until the pastry is pale golden. If you notice any small holes or cracks, patch up with pastry trimmings. You can make up to this point a day ahead.

While the pastry cooks, prepare the filling. Heat a small frying pan, tip in 200g lardons and fry for a couple of mins. Drain off any liquid that comes out, then continue cooking until the lardons just start to colour, but aren’t crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Cut three quarters of the 50g gruyère into small dice and finely grate the rest. Scatter the diced gruyère and fried lardons over the bottom of the pastry case.

Using a spoon, beat 200ml crème fraîche to slacken it then slowly beat in 200ml double cream. Mix in 3 well beaten eggs. Season (you shouldn’t need much salt) and add a pinch of ground nutmeg. Pour three quarters of the filling into the pastry case.

Half-pull the oven shelf out and put the flan tin on the baking sheet. Quickly pour the rest of the filling into the pastry case – you get it right to the top this way. Scatter the grated cheese over the top, then carefully push the shelf back into the oven.

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