And so the saying goes "Real men don't eat quiche..." - Well I defy any man to refuse the delights of a proper homemade quiche, baked with love.
Quiche isn't really baking in my mind; or at least that is how I rationalise it in my head so as not to 'scare' me from making it. I now dont even bother following recipes, because the basic principles are eggs, cream, cheese and milk combined with your chosen ingredients (whether meat, fish or vegetarian) on top of a shortcrust pastry base. The shape differs depending on my mood (I have even made tacky star and heart shaped quiches for Christmas and Valentines Day) and I love how versatile the fillings can be.
The quiche I have chosen to make uses my favourite ingredients including Italian Pancetta and two different cheeses; one has to be a nice sharp cheddar cheese that can hold it's own through all that double cream, milk and eggs and a nice gooey, cheese that melts really well... So I chose gruyere (which really is a quiche classic) and one of my favourite cheeses for snacking on 'Davidstow Cornish Crackler' Cheddar and here is the recipe:
Pancetta and Cornish Crackler and Gruyere Quiche
400g diced pancetta
250g double cream
5 medium sized eggs (I used Clarence Court 'Mabel Pearman's Burford Brown')
100ml of milk
150g finely grated Davidstow Cornish Crackler Cheddar
150g finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry sheet (from all supermarkets)
Maldon sea salt
Ground black pepper
10 strands of chives, snipped **optional**
Baking beans (or any dried pulses you have lying around)
Find an oven dish that fits your pastry sheet nicely and don't be afraid to roll out the pastry a little to get some extra slack, I did the same thing. Once the pastry is in the oven dish, cover it with oven paper and add your baking beans before baking for 10 minutes in a preheated oven on 200 degrees. Once done, remove from oven and set aside but DO NOT turn the oven off, just reduce the heat down to 180 (or 170 if fan assisted)
In a deep pan over a medium-high heat, fry your pancetta until well cooked and nicely browned. Once done, drain the fat by removing them using a slotted spoon and transfer onto a plate lined with kitchen towels to further help drain excess oil.
In a mixing bowl, add your cream, egg and mix well before adding your grated cheeses, milk, chives, a couple of pinches of salt, some black pepper and mix the ingredients all very well until the bowl resembles an even mixture. Finally add your pancetta and incorporate well and then using a ladel, pour all the contents of the bowl onto your pastry base and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a nice salad or just by itself.