Bacon-Leek Quiche

Quiches, tarts, pies…there’s never been a time when I could have said no to any of these. They’re just very appealing to me, with their crisp or flaky crusts and the sheer unlimited possibilities for fillings, both sweet and savory. If you open my fridge, there are very good chances you’ll find a roll of ready-to-use crust in case a sudden craving for quiche or tart overcomes me and I don’t have the time or patience to make my own crust. Recently, I discovered a ready-to-use, organic whole wheat crust in my regular supermarket and was amazed at the almost home made taste and look when it came out of the oven.

When it comes to quiches, I have been on some sort of quest for a few months now. A lot of bakeries here sell small, tartlet-sized quiches for lunch and I’m lucky enough to have such a bakery with the most amazing leek quiche and “Quiche Lorraine” at walking distance from my workplace. The thing about their quiches that amazes me the most is the flan-like texture of their egg mixture. Most of the time, my fillings have the texture of scrambled eggs rather than the creamy-wobbly flan texture. I already figured that mine had too many eggs and not enough cream/milk. But I never really knew how to change it as the recipes featuring 1 liter of milk or cream just scared me. I mean, how can something so liquid not turn my nice crisp crust into mush, even if blind baked before?

But I just had to try, seeing a lot of recipes on the net that used huge amounts of liquid, so I told myself it somehow had to work. And it did. The egg-milk mixture came pretty close to the ones from my favorite lunch time bakery. And I even used some leftover mixture to make something resembling a flan. Basically, I whisked a tablespoon of parmesan into the leftover egg/milk mixture and poured it into small ramequins, then let it set in the oven together with the quiche. It wasn’t bad at all and would probably make a good started with a few leafy greens.

Ingredients:

- 1 ready-to-use or homemade crust
– 200g of bacon (I used bacon strips without too much fat as I don’t like proper bacon with a lot fat)
– 3 large leeks, chopped
– 1 teaspoon butter
– 4 fresh eggs
– 400 ml milk
– 100 ml single cream
– handful of grated cheese (I used emmenthal)
– salt, pepper and nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a quiche or tart dish with baking paper. Roll out your crust and carefully place it into the dish. Cover with some more baking paper and about 500g of dried lentils (or whatever you use to blind bake) in order to avoid the crust to collapse or the bottom to rise. Put in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until the edges start to brown. Take out, discard the baking paper cover and lentils and set aside to cool down. Turn the oven temperature down to 150°C.

In the meantime, melt the butter in a pan on medium heat and add the bacon strips. When they start coloring, add the leek, stirring thoroughly to mix bacon and leek. Stirring regularly, leave to cook for about 10 minutes. The leek should be soft and tender, but not brown. Set aside to cool down.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk and cream, and beat with an egg whisk (or a hand blender), until it starts to get frothy. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Layer the crust with bacon and leek. Pour the egg/milk mixture over the filling and sprinkle with grated cheese. Push into the oven and bake for at least an hour. It is important to let the mixture set at a lower temperature and to give it a long baking time. I’m sure you can lower the temperature even more and extend the baking time. When the tip of a knife inserted into the filling comes out clean, your quiche is ready. Take out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a nice salad.

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