The quiche is one of the most versatile and adaptable recipes to have in any cook's repertoire. The simple combination of a pastry base filled with a variety of ingredients, topped up with a custard made from eggs and milk then baked in the oven is fairly easy to master. The cook can then change it depending on personal taste and available ingredients. While there are classics such as Quiche Lorraine, which uses bacon and cheese as a filling, almost anything can go into a quiche.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and then add the butter, cut up into small cubes.
Rub the butter into the flour, either using the tips of your fingers or a fork, until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the egg yolk and a little water. Draw the mixture together with a fork, pulling more and more of the flour into the liquid centre. It should gradually form into a ball of dough. Add a little more water (or some milk for a slightly richer flavour) if the mixture is too dry to adhere together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, just to soften it. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge and allow to return to room temperature.
Flour a flat work surface and turn out the ball of dough onto it. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is just bigger than the base of your flan dish.
Using the rolling pin to lift it, place the flat dough into the flan dish, gently pushing it into the base and up the sides. Prick the base several times with the prongs of a fork.
Line the quiche base with greaseproof paper, weigh it down with something heat resistant (baking beans are perfect), and bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until it is golden and biscuity in colour.
The pastry freezes very well. If you make extra, after bringing it together into a ball, wrap some in plastic wrap and put it into the freezer. Then just defrost as required.