Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Piggy back-up

It’s not just me that intends to spend best part of the day tomorrow hanging around a television studio touting my tart as H has slightly reluctantly agreed to accompany me. But she’s really not crazy about cooking the requisite dish to sit in front of. So I promised that I would produce a second dish from my beloved piggy book – Pork & Sons. After making my star attraction of the black pudding, apple and potato tart I thought I’d whip up a quick quiche also. I hadn’t made this particular quiche before it was a huge relief how simple this was. First of all no blind baking – what a result! But in the usual style of Pork & Sons there was an abundance of ingredients. I thought I used a deeper quiche tin than his and wondered if the filling would seem a tad scant. But on the contrary there was lashing of egg and cream filling leftover and that’s before I added the fourth egg. Also I was probably a little too generous with pouring the eggy mixture into the flan case and the filling ballooned so excessively I wondered how on earth I would transport it to the film studios. Fortunately after a night to cool it settled to a more acceptable level and I was able to carry it safely and intact to the filming.

Quiche with two kinds of ham
Stéphane Reynaud's Pork & Sons - serves 6

4 eggs
150ml double cream
500ml milk
350g shortcrust pastry
Plain flour, for dusting
175g jambon de Paris or other unsmoked ham diced
150g mature Comté or Gruyère, diced
3 slices or prosciutto or other dry-cure ham, cut into thin strips
50g shelled walnuts, chopped

- Preheat oven to 180c
- Beat the eggs with the cream and milk in a bowl
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 23 cm (9") flan tin
- Trim the edge, prick the base and place on a baking sheet
- Add the diced ham, cheese, prosciutto and walnuts
- Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes, or until the mixture is just set

Having this quiche perched on a cake stand in front of H and I wafting over its delightful porky scent made us determined to cut a wedge out carefully out to display the walnut and hammy filling. And also it would be rude not to try a bit for size and it was surprisingly delicious! Only surprising because it had been lurking around a warm studio all day but actually it seems to have done it good. I think that often quiche is served too cold, frequently straight from the fridge and the eggy mixture that D is so very suspicious of doesn't have chance to warm up and complement the other fillings. I had intended on leaving my two porky dishes in the studio for the next filming session but even though I thought sadly the black pudding, apple and potato tart wasn't worth retrieving as it really needs to be eaten directly from the oven the quiche would be quite happy warm or eaten at room temperature so I bundled it up back for its return journey. The touch of walnut was an unexpected bonus and the two hams and the still cubed Gruyère certainly made the tart sing. The next day I heated up a slice again and was pleased to see that the Gruyère melted just slightly and made it taste even more wonderful. Well done Stéphane, you've done it again!

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