- flour, for dusting
Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…
- 500g block ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry
- 200g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
- 85g medium cheddar, cut into small cubes
Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…
- 3 egg, lightly beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 284ml tub double cream
- pinch grated nutmeg
Roll out pastry and lift into tin: Leave pastry to soften at room temperature so it doesn’t crack when rolling. Lightly flour rolling pin and work surface. Gently press top of pastry, from the end closest to you outwards, a few times, turn 90°, then repeat until 1cm thick. Now roll out pastry in one direction only, turning every couple of rolls, to a circle the thickness of a £1 coin. Use the rolling pin to lift pastry up and over tin, floured side facing up.
Line the tin and trim the pastry: Smooth pastry over the base of the tin to remove any pockets of air. Gently ease pastry into the inside edge of tin and against the sides. Trim overhanging pastry with kitchen scissors so pastry rises 1cm above the rim. Roll excess pastry into a small ball and use to press pastry into the fluted edges. Chill for 30 mins, covered with cling film. Any left over can be chilled and reused, or frozen for up to a month.
Bake the pastry case blind: Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cut a large piece of baking parchment, then scrunch into a ball. Open it out and use to line chilled pastry case, then tip in baking beans with more against the sides, to support pastry wall when baking. Bake on a baking sheet for 15-20 mins until the sides are crisp and set. Remove from oven and carefully lift paper and beans out. Return pastry to oven and cook for another 5 mins or until the base and sides are golden and crisp.
Fill pastry case and bake Lower oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Heat a pan, then fry the bacon until golden. Scatter over the pastry base, discarding excess fat, followed by the cheese. Mix eggs, cream and nutmeg together, then half-fill the case. Rest baking sheet on an oven shelf, then pour in the rest of the mixture. Bake for 30-35 mins or until just set. Remove and allow to cool for 10 mins.
The pastry shrank during baking: If you don’t chill your pastry for long enough, the butter will start to melt during baking before the pastry has time to set, causing shrinkage. Chill the pastry for at least 30 mins before baking – plus, if you trim the pastry so that it is above the rim, it won’t matter if it shrinks slightly.
The cooked pastry case cracked
Pastry that is rolled out too much becomes overworked and too elastic. As a result, it can spring back during baking or little cracks form. Get the pastry to a pliable texture before you start rolling, then do lots of gentle rolls and turns as opposed to a few forceful ones. Plug any small cracks with a little leftover pastry before pouring in the custard.