New Year, New Quiche: I’m pretty sure that’s the saying and even if it’s not, it’s infinitely more achievable and less irritating for your friends than New Year, New Me. This is a slightly healthier version of Quiche Lorraine that used up some of my Christmas leftovers (cream and bacon) and adds in some red pepper and tomato for a touch of colour and some nutrition. It’s not often that my kids will offer unsolicited compliments about something I’ve given them for dinner: with prompting, a grudging “it was better than I thought it would be” is usually as good as it gets, but this was a hit. And they even ate the leftovers for lunch the next day without complaining.
It’s not New Year diet or detox food but as I am an advocate of moderation in all things (something I aspire to rather than practicing all the time) there is no reason why you can’t eat quiche in January. As I type it’s cold, wet and miserable outside: the winter is not a season for raw juice diets, it’s for warming nourishment and all things “hygge”, which may be the word of the moment but still has a lot to be said for it. If you have to go running in the rain and cold there has to be something warm and cosy to come home to and food is included in that. And after dinner I absolutely love lighting my fire and the candles: it creates a warm, relaxing and comforting environment before I’ve even sat down. And that has to be good for you.
I used the leftover pastry I had to finish up my mincemeat, which is a great option if you haven’t already over-dosed on mince pies. Otherwise just increase the amount of filling and make mini quiches!
200g plain flour
100g butter, diced
1 egg, beaten, plus a teaspoon or two of cold water if necessary
1 large onion
1 red pepper
4 rashers of bacon, chopped up
Light olive oil
285ml single cream (I used approx 225ml double cream plus some milk)
A pinch of paprika, salt and pepper
100g cheddar cheese, grated
Tomatoes to decorate
Set the oven to 180°C.
Make the pastry: put the flour into a bowl and add the butter in cubes. Rub in with your fingers until the mixture ressembles fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively you can make your pastry in a food processor). Add the egg and a little cold water if necessary and mix to a dough. Knead very briefly and allow to chill for a while.
Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 10″ quiche tin.
If you have time, put the pastry case back in the fridge for a while as if it is cold it should reduce the amount of shrinkage when it bakes. Prick the base all over, line with greaseproof paper (it’s easier if you crumple it up first) and fill with baking beans or rice.
Bake for around 20 minutes, until lightly coloured, removing the paper and beans for the last five minutes.
Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
Chop the onion and pepper and lightly fry in the light olive oil, adding the bacon when the onion and pepper are soft. Continue to fry gently until the bacon is cooked.
Put the cream (or cream and milk), eggs, and paprika, salt and pepper to taste into a measuring jug and beat briefly to combine. Add around 80g of the grated cheese and mix in.
Spread the onion, pepper and bacon mixture evenly over the base of the pastry and then pour the cream mixture over the top. Decorate with tomato and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top.
Bake in the oven for around 35-40 minutes, until the quiche is golden brown, risen and set in the middle.
Serve warm or cold.