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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Sieve the flour into a bowl with ½ tsp salt. Add the butter and lard, and rub the mixture together using your fingertips until you get a sandy, breadcrumb-like texture. Add the milk, a little at a time, and using a cutlery knife, start to bring the dough together, using your hands, making sure it has no dry patches and feels smooth. Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 30-45 mins.
Put a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin or a 20cm pastry ring on a baking sheet. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to a circle a little larger than the top of the tin and approximately 5mm thick. Carefully lift the pastry into the tin and gently press into the corners, taking care not to have any holes or the mixture could leak. Cover and rest for a further 30 mins in the fridge. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.
Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper – to do this cut a disc of greaseproof paper larger than the tin, scrunch it into a ball (this makes it more pliable), then unwrap and place it in the pastry case. It should come above the sides. Fill with baking beans or uncooked rice and bake blind for 20-25 until nicely golden and dry. Carefully remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans, and return to the oven for 5 mins to dry the base. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
Beat the milk, cream, eggs and herbs with some seasoning. Scatter half of the grated cheese in the blind-baked base, top with the chopped spinach and beans, then pour over the liquid mixture. If required, gently give the mixture a delicate stir to ensure the filling is evenly dispersed, but be careful not to damage the pastry case. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Place into the oven and bake for 20-30 mins until set and very lightly golden.