01 December 2010

Egg Cheese and Bacon Flan

This could be a quiche but as far as I remember this has always been called egg cheese and bacon flan. It has it's origin in my recipe folder from way back in the 70's when I was sharing a farmhouse in Shropshire at the start of my dairying career. There were always plenty of eggs available and the lady who came in to clean once a week often offered to bake for us, either a cake or a flan. I think the sum of 50p changed hands. As I was the only one of the three of us who had any rudimentry cookery skills, I took on the job of cook and added the flan to the menu once I had learned to cook it. The only thing I've changed are the units of measurement. In my head it's in lbs and ozs, pints and fl oz.

For an 8½" 22cm flan dish

225g plain flour
115g butter
pinch salt
2-3 tbsp cold water
3 large eggs
Milk to make the filling up to 400ml
100g  grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
6 rashers of grilled streaky bacon cut into short lengths
2 -3 tbsp of very hot vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200°c Gas Mark 6.
2. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, rub in the butter evenly (or blitz it in the food processor).
3. Slowly add enough cold water to make a firm dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
4. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge, roll out fairly thinly into a circle. Roll the pastry onto the rolling pin and transfer it to the greased flan dish, lifting the edges gently and pressing the pastry all around the sides and into the corners.
5. Trim the top, prick the base all over with a fork and place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes, pressing it down flat if it rises up. It's cooked enough when it is firm to the touch and a pale brown colour.
6. Remove from the oven and pour 2-3 tbsp very hot oil onto the base to make sure the pastry comes out really crisp. Brush the base with beaten egg to seal any holes and bake it for a further 4-5 minutes until the egg glaze is set.
7. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a graduated jug, add 75g of the cheddar, enough milk to make up to 400ml and beat the mixture to combine the ingredients. Add salt and pepper.
8. Put the grilled bacon onto the base of the flan, pour on  the egg/milk/cheese mix.
9. Sprinkle on the remaining 25g of grated cheese and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 - 40 minutes until the egg mixture has set and the cheese has melted and browned nicely.

This flan is really tasty served hot or cold, and is an ideal snack straight from the fridge.

The Photograph
Another simple lighting setup, just one soft light at 45° to the right with a large white relector on the left. The reflective black surface is a granite worktop protector.

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