Challenge No. 32 – Leek and Gruyere Quiche

My friend Rachel suggested this challenge for Challenge 52.  I’ve already made two other of Rachel’s suggestions in Challenge No. 20 (Gammon) and Challenge No. 11 (Chocolate Ganache & Cherry Tart).  Rachel decided to challenge me to another pastry dish but this time a savoury leek and gruyere quiche. 

I had a quick search online for a recipe and most of the ones I found used cups as a measurement.  Those of you who have been following MyGastroAdventure from the beginning will have learned that I don’t like recipes in cups! However, I struggled to find a recipe I liked to look of, with the right ingredients, and the right types of measurements.  So in the end I settled for a conversion of this recipe for a bacon, leek and gruyere quiche.  Also quite a nice touch that the recipe bio makes reference to the inspiration for my blog, Julia & Julia 🙂

The recipe makes two quiches, however, Dave doesn’t like quiche so I thought it would be best to make just one and take it into work for my colleagues.  To make the quiche, you will need the following ingredients:-

  • Crust
    • 160g plain flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 140g unsalted butter, cubed
    • 1/2 large egg yolk*
    • 52ml ice water
  • Filling
    • 226g thickly sliced bacon, cut into squares
    • 2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
    • Salt and pepper
    • 114g Gruyère cheese, grated
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 large egg yolks
    • 427ml double cream

*I know! I know! 1/2 an egg yolk is not easy but that’s what half the recipe meant.  All I did was put my yolk in a small jug and then used a teaspoon to take out approximately half.

Edited - ingredients

I started by putting my flour, salt and chilled butter into my food processor.  I blitzed it together until it resembled breadcrumbs.

Edited - butter and flour Edited - breadcrumbs

I then added the egg yolk and water and pulsed until the mixture started to come together.  It was then time to get my hands dirty.  I floured my worktop and tipped the dough out to work together with my hands. 

Edited - unworked dough

I kneaded it together until smooth, shaped it into a disk and then wrapped it in cling film to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.  I realised after 10 minutes that my fridge wasn’t particularly cold so I turned it down slightly and given that it was a hot evening, I decided to leave the pastry dough for a total of 30 minutes.

Edited - smooth ball

After the 30 minutes were up, I floured my worktop again, floured my rolling pin and started rolling the dough until it was slightly bigger than the base of my tin.

Edited - rolled out

I greased the tin with a little butter and carefully lifted the pastry in.  Now when I made the ganache tart, my research indicated that the tin should be greased.  However, when I finished with this bake, I thought the base was a bit soft and I wondered if this was because of the extra butter used to grease the tin (as well as a bit of overspill on the filling!).  I’ve done a bit more research and its indicated that when using a shortcrust, you don’t need to grease the tin as there is enough butter in the pastry itself.  Next time, I’ll give this a try and see what happens.

Anyway, with my pastry in the tin, I trimmed and neatened up the edges.  I then set about putting in my baking rice (I don’t have beads so just use rice which I keep in a separate bit of tupperware in my baking cupboard).  The recipe says to line the pastry with foil, however, I remember watching a Celebrity Great British Bake Off where one of the contestants used foil and it stuck to the pastry.  So to avoid a potential disaster, I stuck to what I knew and used baking paper.

Edited - lined tin Edited - trimmed Edited - rice

I then popped the tin into the oven on 190 degrees celsius for 30 minutes.  When the timer went off, I removed the rice and baking paper and popped the tin back in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Whilst the pastry was finishing up in the oven, I got started on the filling.  I heated up my frying pan and then added the bacon slices to cook over a medium heat.  I kept string until they were cooked through.

Edited - bacon

Now this next bit, I deviated from the recipe slightly! It wasn’t on purpose, I just misread it.  The recipe said to “drain the bacon, leaving 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan”.  I read this to mean, drain off the fat, leaving the bacon and 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan.  What it actually meant was to take the bacon out of of the pan.  Anyway, I’d added my leek and thyme to the bacon, seasoned it with salt and pepper and let it cook for around 5 minutes until softened.  Once it was cooked, I popped the leek and bacon mixture into a bowl to cool.

Edited - leek and bacon

When the pastry was cooked, I put the tin onto a baking tray and left everything to cool whilst I made mine and Dave’s dinner.

Edited - cooked pastry

After we were fed and watered, I carried on with the quiche.  I added the grated cheese to the leek and bacon, mixed it all together and then put it in the pastry case. It was very full!!! So I decided to pull out some of the leek slices, leaving the yummy bacon and cheese.  I’m not sure it really made any difference but I felt like I had at least done something 🙂

Edited - filling in

I then poured the cream into a jug, added the eggs and egg white before whisking with a balloon whisk.  I didn’t really know what I was doing here so I just whisked it until everything was well combined.  I transferred the mixture into a jug and carefully poured it over the quiche filling.

Practial tip: don’t overfill the pastry case.  If the mixture spills over the edge, you’ll end up with a soggy bottom.

So, in light of the tip above, at this point, I kept repeating to myself “don’t overfill it! don’t overfill it!”  and what did I do? Yep, I overfilled it 😦  I actually only used half of the cream and egg mixture too!

Edited - oven ready

Anyway, I popped the (overfilled) quiche into the oven on 190 degrees celsius for 30 minutes to cook through.  I took the quiche out of the oven and popped it onto a cooking rack for 15 minutes. I then removed the ring, leaving the quiche on the base of the tin. I wasn’t sure whether I should remove the base as well but because the filling had spilled over, I thought it best to leave the quiche on a sturdy base.

Edited - ready

Once cooled enough, I popped the quiche in the fridge overnight before chopping it up to take to work the next day.

Edited - slice

Edited - served upEveryone said the quiche was very nice.  Despite my warnings of the notorious soggy bottom (Mary Berry would not have been happy), they all said it was good and that the bottom wasn’t that soggy.  One person even described it as crisp! I have to admit the base wasn’t as soggy as I thought it would be but there was clear room for improvement, in my mind at least.  Although, perhaps I am my own worst critic.

Despite the questionable base, I have to admit this quiche was yummy! I definitely want to make it again and see if I can perfect the base and filling ratios.

Coming up next week, Challenge No. 33 – custard slices.

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