Pea & Bacon Quiche

This quiche (or tart, according to how you want to call it) is extremely easy to make and is very colourful as well. The pea provides for a nice tart green layer between the golden pastry and the also golden filling on top. And it’s so tasty and yummy you’ll want to make this again and again! Please make your own pastry. It’s so easy and straightforward it doesn’t make sense to buy it from a supermarket. But then again, should you feel lazy, I’ll just turn a blind eye to it. Last thing, please also read the Tips section as it contains very useful information!

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Ingredients

  • about 500g homemade rich shortcrust pastry OR a 500g block of shop-bought shortcrust pastry
  • 250g frozen peas
  • 12 basil leaves, plus extra for decoration
  • 300ml double cream
  • 250g unsmoked bacon rashers
  • 4 large eggs + 1 egg white
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

  1. Make your own pastry and roll out until large enough to cover a 26cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Make sure the pastry is fit into the tin. Leave the excess pastry overhanging from the sides and pop in the fridge to chill out for about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, get started on the pea puree. Boil the peas in salted water for about 5 minutes (or until just tender)., then drain and add to a blender together with the basil leaves, 3 tbsp of cream, salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth. If needed, add one tbsp of water at a time to loosen the puree up.
  3. Put the pea puree back into the pan where you boiled them before and reduce until very creamy and thick in consistency. Take off the heat.
  4. Slice the bacon into strips and dry-fry in a pan until golden and starting to turn crisp. Take off the pan and, using a knife, chop finely. Add to the puree and mix well. Season and leave to rest.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and put a baking sheet in the oven to warm up.
  6. Take the pastry out of the fridge and fill with baking beans to blind bake (see tip below). Put the tin on the pre-heated baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, then remove the baking parchment and the beans and bake for another 12 minutes until golden.
  7. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs with the cream and the Parmesan, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Take the pastry case out of the oven and brush delicately with the egg white. Put back in for another 5 minutes.
  9. Take it out for the last time and pop the pea and bacon puree in the bottom, spreading it around so as to form an uniform layer. Pour into the cream and egg filling, then put back into the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and, using a sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry, then leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Serve with some basil leaves scattered on top.

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Tips

  • MAKE YOUR OWN PASTRY: It’s dead easy and will save you plenty of money in the long term. I swear by Eric Lanlard’s recipe for rich shortcrust, which is very easy to make both by hand and in a food processor.
  • BLIND BAKE YOUR PASTRY: It’s so important when making a quiche or a pie to blind bake your own pastry as this will ensure a nice and crusty bottom.
  • BRUSH WITH EGG WHITE: This is fundamental to ensure the pastry case is insulated and made waterproof. The puree is really liquid and full of moisture, if you don’t protect your pastry case the pastry will go soggy (on that note, if you look carefully, you can see mine has in the middle. That is because I didn’t brush the pastry case with egg white).
  • TRIM THE OVERHANGING PASTRY OFF: Very easy to make, provided you keep the knife tilted to a 45 degree angle.
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