A leek and bacon quiche need never be out of bounds for the gluten-intolerant
Pic: © Laura Edwards
If you or a family member has a problem with gluten, home cooking can be nearly as tricky as eating out. That’s where River Cottage Gluten Free comes into its own. Written by nutrition expert Naomi Devlin, with a foreword from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall himself, it contains useful advice on gluten-free eating, such as alternative flours. Naomi also shares 120 tempting dishes for all times of the day, such as prosciutto and egg muffins and courgette hummus – all without any gluten in sight.
What's more, our friends at publishers Bloomsbury have kindly let us share with you a sneak preview, in the shape of Naomi's leek and bacon quiche. Which is exciting news for our gluten-free webmaster as much as your good selves!
Leek and bacon quiche
This quiche makes a great addition to a picnic or lunchbox and can be baked a couple of days in advance. Take the time to slowly cook the leeks so they become meltingly sweet – a wonderful partner for salty bacon and cream. Make sure your pastry case is well cooked before you add the filling - the bottom should be as crisp as the edges.
½ quantity shortcrust pastry or savoury almond pastry, chilled
Tapioca or potato starch for dusting
1 egg, beaten, for brushing
For the filling
1 tsp duck fat or lard
6 rashers of unsmoked back bacon, derinded
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts), well washed and chopped
200ml double cream
180ml whole milk
Black pepper (optional)
24cm loose-bottomed flan tin
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 if using shortcrust, or 180°C/Fan 160°C/ Gas 4 for almond pastry. Line the base of the flan tin with a disc of baking parchment.
Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film dusted with tapioca or potato starch to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Peel off the top sheet and invert the pastry over the flan tin, easing it onto the base and sides. Peel off the cling film and patch any holes in the pastry. Using a rolling pin or sharp knife, remove the excess pastry overhanging the rim. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
Line the pastry case with baking parchment, to come above the edge of the case. Fill with baking beans or dried beans and bake ‘blind’ for 10 minutes. Lift out the baking beans and parchment. Brush the pastry case with beaten egg and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the base is cooked through. It should feel firm and the pastry should be golden. Lower the oven setting, if necessary, to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the duck fat or lard in a frying pan and fry the bacon rashers until they have taken some colour; remove and set aside. Add the butter to the pan. Once it has melted, add the leeks and cook until soft and sweet smelling, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool a little. Cut the cooked bacon into strips.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream and milk until well combined. Stir in the leeks, bacon and some pepper if you like (the bacon will provide enough salt). Pour into the pastry case. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until slightly risen and light golden brown on top. It should still have a little wobble in the middle, but not too much or it won’t set. Allow to cool slightly and serve just warm. This quiche will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Recipe taken from River Cottage Gluten Free, published by Bloomsbury, RRP £20, Hardback. To purchase online, click here