What to do when your oven is an oven/microwave combo

As I may have mentioned before, I’m once again back to being a penniless, scruffy student, and with it comes all the charm of student life, such as having a tiny tiny kitchen. My tiny tiny kitchen also has a tiny tiny oven, which is actually one of those oven microwave combos. This is a shame, because I do like baking, and I’m not entirely sure how well that’s going to go down in this thing. That’s why a bunch of experimentation is in order!

The best way to go about this is by starting with things that really can’t go wrong, just to see if and by how much the temperatures and cooking times should be changed. That way, you get used to the thing without having to stand by helplessly as your soufflés collapse. I figured a nice quiche would be my best bet, because what can really go wrong with quiche? I settled for a classic, quiche Lorraine.

Regardless of what you and I have always believed, the original quiche Lorraine doesn’t actually contain any cheese whatsoever. It’s just bacon, eggs, and cream on a base of pâte brisée, pretty much shortcrust pastry. I was going to get ready-made shortcrust, but the shop had run out, so I made my own instead. Easy peasy, let’s do this.

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For one quiche, use the following:

Shortcrust pastry:

  • 200 gr plain flour
  • 90 gr butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • some ice cold water

For the filling:

  • 200 gr lardons
  • 3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 50 ml of crème fraîche
  • some pepper (not sure if this is authentic, add at your own risk)

So first of all, the pâte brisée. Your butter needs to be really cold for this, and you’ll also need some ice water, so either place a small cup of water in the freezer for a bit, or just add some icecubes to some tap water. I don’t have ice cubes because I used my ice cube tray for storing the juice from all those limes I bought the other week, so I put some water in the freezer for a few minutes.

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OK so put your flower in a bowl, add the salt and mix. Cut your butter up so that it’s in smallish cubes, then add those to the flour. Now sort of rub it together with your fingertips so that it becomes sort of crumbly. Then add the ice water (about 3 tbsp, probably, but whatever feels right) and quickly work the mass into a nice and smooth ball. Wrao that up in clingfilm and keep it in the fridge for an hour.

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Now go and gently fry those lardons.

Also beat your eggs plus yolks, add the crème fraîche, some pepper, and mix well.

When the dough is chilled, take it out, pop it onto a working surface between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out. I don’t have a rolling pin so I used a bottle. Roll it out to a little over the size of whatever dish you’re using. Grease that dish up a little and put in the sheet of shortcrust. Stick this in the oven on 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can put on some baking parchment and some baking beans, but don’t worry if you don’t have those – it’s not like it’s going to rise or anything.

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Now throw your lardons in with your egg mixture, mix briefly, and chuck all of it in the now slightly-baked shortcrust base. Shove it back into the oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes (or, if your oven is like mine, 220 for 40-45 minutes).

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About La dittatrice

After years of being based in Glasgow, I've recently made a home for myself in Turin, Italy, for the time being, at least. This blog is my captain's log. Here I note down what I did, and what I ate. A story, then a recipe. That's how this here works. Updates on Wednesdays.
This entry was posted in Baking, cooking, Food, french, french cuisine, recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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