When it’s hot and you feel lazy, who can be bothered to make pastry for a quiche? Not me. Here’s a great recipe for a pastry-less one – it hails from the South of France, from my Aunt Jeanine. It absolutely bloody rocks.
A bit of context first, because I do like a chat. The love of baking runs verrrrry deep in my French side of the family. My Aunt Jeanine and Uncle Andre used to own a boulangerie in the suburbs of Marseilles, where for 20 years they were knocking out all manner of beautiful baguettes, patisseries and wonderful Provencal treats. Sadly, by the time my brother and I came on the scene, they’d sold the business, but you can’t blame them not wanting to get up at 3am six days out of seven. They made everything from scratch. Massive respect!
So by the time I was hanging around Aunt Jeanine’s ankles, she’d found lots of other ways to pass the time. She procured a giant knitting machine upon which she would create us hideous patterned jumpers, and her two cherished poodles were spoilt like little princesses, feasting on home cooked meals and having their little claws painted with nail varnish. Yup, doggy pedicures. Uncle Andre would tend the sumptuous garden which was filled with lemon and apricot trees, and Aunt Jeanine would feed us until we popped.
Jeanine cleverly found a way to make a quiche without pastry, and baked it in a Tupperware mould, hence the name. You can bet she was tired of making pastry from scratch after 20 years of toil in the boulangerie. So, this is more like an amalgamation between a souffle, flan and an omelette, and tastes absolutely delicious. It’s so easy to make – you can assemble it in just 15 minutes. You will need a food processor – although, at a push you could probably use an electric stick blender to whiz everything up.
Perfect to cut into squares and take to a summer picnic, or eaten warm from the oven with a peppery salad.
Feeds 4 as a main, or more at a picnic
150g thick smoky back bacon / 150g thick smoky ham – use the best quality you can afford. Snip it with scissors into small dice. If using bacon, do not discard the fat, make sure you cut it into very small bits as these will crisp up nicely.
Fry the bits of bacon (you won’t need any oil) for a few minutes until crisp. If using cooked ham, no need to fry. Tip the bits into a buttered oven dish (you don’t need to use Tupperware), about 24 cm in length.
Then tip the following into your food processor, in this order:
500ml milk (you can use full fat or semi skimmed)
100g plain flour
100g grated Gruyere cheese (you could always substitute mature Cheddar)
A few twists of freshly ground black pepper
All you need to do is then pulse the mixture about 10 times until well combined. Then tip it over the cooked bacon/ham in the buttered dish, then bake for 30 – 40 minutes in an oven preheated to 220C, until nicely browned on top. Keep an eye on it, all ovens work differently…mine went a little ‘over burnished’ as you can see in the photo, but still tasted delicious.
Let it cool down a little before cutting into squares, as it will need to set properly.
Sublime pour le picque nique: