It's still the case that ready made pastry is easier to get than flour in most places, and it's ideal for a quick quiche.
The ready rolled shortcrust pastry in the UK comes in an oblong shape. In France it is circular. (The only rectangular pastry you can buy in France is a puff pastry, which is very handy for sausage rolls.)
In the UK you either get a squareish brick of unrolled pastry or an oblong if it is rolled. Luckily you can also buy an oblong loose-bottomed tart tin exactly the right size for ready rolled UK pastry. I wonder which came first - the tin or the dough?
For this quiche I used mushrooms, bacon, onion, spinach and Cheddar cheese but the possible variations are endless.
A quiche will usually contain onion and cheese as well as the other flavours. If you don't have an onion a thin smear of onion chutney or any other chutney over the pastry will be delicious instead. I recently saw a recipe for a quiche made of just Branston pickle and Cheddar cheese - it looked and sounded delicious.
If you don't have Cheddar cheese virtually any other cheese will do; grated parmesan, crumbled feta, crumbled Cheshire or blue cheese, sliced goats cheese, Brie or Camembert are all delicious. Instead of spinach leaves you can use lightly cooked sprigs of broccoli. Or asparagus......the season is almost here. Peas are good too.
In place of the bacon you can use bits of ham, cooked sausage, cooked chicken or cooked salmon. The variations are endless - although be careful what you put together - not sure Branston pickle and salmon would work!
1 pack ready made, ready rolled shortcrust pastry, at room temperature*
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon (or any bacon you have), sliced into chunks
1 onion, chopped
a good handful of mushrooms, white, brown or a mixture, sliced (not too thin)
a handful of spinach leaves, rinsed
Cheddar cheese for grating
a spoonful or dollop of double cream (or crème fraiche)
about 200ml milk
Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan. Grease an oblong or large round tart tin or flan dish, unroll the pastry, line the tin and trim the edges. Use the paper from the packet to line the pastry case, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes.
While the pastry is cooking, fry the onion and bacon in a little oil until soft (not too brown). Remove from the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook until soft.
When the pastry is cooked, remove from the oven, remove and discard the paper. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C / 140 fan. Arrange the onion, bacon and mushrooms evenly over the pastry then lay the spinach leaves over the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese, as much as you like to taste.
Put the eggs into a jug and beat. Add the cream or crème fraiche and beat together. Season with salt and pepper and add enough milk to make up to 400ml. Mix together and pour gently over the filling. It's best not to over fill and have some liquid left over rather than it overflow. Arrange some slices of tomato or pepper on the top to decorate if you like.
Return to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until nicely browned and the filling is just about set. It should have a slight wobble in the middle and will firm up as it cools.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cuts into 6-8 portions.