Cheddar, smoked bacon and courgette quiches

For nice, thin pastry there's no need to bake it blind - just reduce the temperature and bake it for longer.

Serves 6


For the pastry:
*250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting 
*150g cold unsalted butter, cubed
*A pinch of sea salt
*1 egg, beaten

For the filling:
*6 slices of dry-cured smoked streaky bacon
*5 egg yolks
*300ml double cream
*sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
*75g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
*1 small courgette, finely diced 
*4 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

For the salad:
*1 teaspoon grainy mustard 
*1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 
*3 teaspoons rapeseed oil
*1 bag of salad leaves
*1 head of little gem lettuce, leaves picked

1. To make the pastry, put the flour into a bowl, add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until breadcrumbs form. Add the salt and egg, and bring together, then knead very lightly to form a soft dough. Cover and place in the fridge for 10–15 minutes to firm up.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and grease six loose-bottomed tart tins 9cm in diameter and 4cm deep.

3. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 3mm and cut it into six discs larger than the tart tins, re-rolling the last of the pastry for the last two tins. Lay the pastry over the tins and press gently into the base and sides. Trim the sides so the pastry is flush to the edge

4. For the filling, heat a frying pan until medium–hot, then add the bacon and fry for 3–4 minutes, until golden-brown and just crispy. Drain on kitchen paper, then roughly chop and set aside.

5. Whisk the egg yolks and cream together, whisk once more, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half the cheese into the bottom of the tart cases, and follow with half the bacon, the courgette, then the last of the cheese and bacon. 

6. Finish with a little thyme, then pull the oven rack out slightly and set the tins near the edge. Pour in the egg mixture, then slide the quiches fully into the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes until just set and golden-brown. Remove and cool slightly before serving.7.

7. For the salad, put the mustard, vinegar and rapeseed oil into a small jar with a lid, and shake vigorously to emulsify together. Put the salad into a resealable bag, then, when ready to serve, tip the dressing into the bag and shake to coat all the leaves.

8. Serve the quiches at room temperature, with the salad.

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More Home Comforts by James Martin (Quadrille £20) Photography: Peter Cassidy

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