Quiches and tarts similar to this one are typical of the Haute-Savoie region in France where Ilaria lived for eight months. She generally doesn’t eat cream but she can’t resist a slice or two of this classic. Now’s the chance to bring out the gewürztraminer – it will fall in love with the bacony, spicy notes – it could be heavenly!
Rich shortcrust pastry 200g (7 oz) standard flour Pinch of salt 125g (4½ oz) butter, cubed 1 small (size 5) free-range egg yolk 2 Tbsp chilled water 2 large onions, peeled and chopped 30g (1 oz) butter 250g (8½ oz) free-range bacon lardons, or roughly chopped chunky bacon 200g (7 oz) crème fraîche 2 medium (size 6) free-range eggs 1 Tbsp thyme leaves Freshly grated nutmeg Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Make pastry, roll out and line into a 20cm (8”) loose-bottomed flan ring, and bake blind for 20 minutes as described in recipe Prune & Frangipane Tart
2 Put onions in a small frying pan (skillet) with butter and cook gently for 25–30 minutes, until softened and just starting to colour. Stir often to ensure they don’t catch. Transfer to a side plate. Increase heat under pan and add bacon lardons. Cook at a nice little sizzle until golden. Tilt pan to let fat drain off bacon, then using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Cool.
3 Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Place another baking sheet (tray) on a rack in the centre of the oven. Blend crème fraîche and eggs together in a bowl. Add thyme, a good grating of nutmeg, ½ a teaspoon of salt and black pepper to taste, and onions and bacon. Pour into pastry case.
4 Slide quiche and paper off cold sheet onto hot one in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, until filling is golden but still retains just the merest wobble. Cool for 30 minutes, then carefully remove from flan ring. Leave until cool before slicing.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com