This smoked lardon, buttered leek and chestnut quiche smells absolutely incredible, and is a great option for a lunch or dinner as the Christmas season approaches. Alternatively, you could also make this in a square or rectangular quiche tin and slice it into smaller mouthfuls for canapés.
You will need a 24cm fluted quiche tin.
Slice your butter into small cubes of roughly 1cm using two knives to avoid touching it with your hands, and place it in a large mixing bowl.
Sift your flour and salt from a height into the bowl, to get the air into the ingredients. Gently rub the butter into the flours using your fingertips until it reaches a breadcrumb-like consistency.
Mix your egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle it evenly over the mixture. Use a blunt kitchen knife or palette knife to incorporate it as quickly as possible and bring the dough together. If you need more water add it gradually and sparingly – you only need enough to bind the dough.
Shape your dough into a disc and wrap it up to keep it from drying out. Rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
To blind bake your pastry case, preheat your oven to 220°C. On a lightly floured work surface use a rolling pin to ridge the dough and start to push it outwards before you roll it. Rotate at each quarter turn, and when it is big enough, roll it out into a circle shape, 2-3mm thick. Lay the pastry over the tin using your rolling pin to help lift it, and use your fingers to press it snugly into the grooves. Trim off any excess pastry. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork to prevent bubbles forming. Cover the base and sides of the case with baking parchment, and weigh it down with baking beans. Make sure the beans are pushed right into the edges of the tin.
Blind bake the pastry case for 10 minutes, until pale golden with no wet patches of dough. Remove the parchment and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.
Set your oven temperature to 180°C. Melt a generous knob of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the lardons until the fat has crisped up and they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and set to one side. Add the onion and leeks into the pan and reduce the heat a little, cooking for 20 minutes and stirring from time to time.
Add the chestnuts and fry for a further 5-10 minutes, until the onions and leeks are melting into each other. Remove the bay leaf, and reintroduce the cooked crispy lardons at the very end.
Mix the rosemary, cream, cheese and eggs together and whisk with a fork to combine. Season with black pepper, and a little salt.
Place the leek and bacon lardon filling on the base of the baked pastry case and spread out evenly. Pour the cream and cheese mixture over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the quiche is golden on top and cooked through. Leave it to settle for 10 minutes or so before slicing and serving.