It is hardly a surprise that I love France, I literally wrote the book on French baking (well one of them). I have been in love with the country across the channel since I was little and we would spend our holidays camping in Northern France. I have distinct memories of walking to the bakery in brittany was I was 10 to get the pastries for breakfast, trying to order canelé in St Emilion when i was 9 but only succeeding with a large amount of pointing. That love grew deeper when I was 18 and I visited Paris for the first time, spending my student loan on a eurostar ticker and a hotel seemingly miles from the centre of the city. On that trip I discovered macarons and started a life long love affair with the city of lights and its fabulous food. So when I was asked to come to Paris to delve deeper into the wonderful range of ingredients that France produces I, of course, jumped at the chance. To be honest I don't really need an excuse to visit Paris, I basically have to be stopped from jumping on the eurostar on a weekly basis. If you subscribe to my YouTube channel then you've already seen the adventure we had eating and cooking our way around the city and after coming back full of inspiration and ideas, and a suitcase full of ingredients, that was all turned into my recipe for that french classic, quiche. My version, in an attempt to modernise it in the way that french chefs are trying to modernise and lighten classic french fare, uses creme fraiche and single cream to give the quiche a little more tang and lightness plus it is jam packed full of flavour coming from montbeilard sausage (a slightly smoked sausage from the Franche-Comté region that was new to me), rich and sweet caramelised onions, Paris Brown Mushrooms that are grown in caves just outside the city, lots of nutty aged comte and of course a little dijon mustard to round it all out. It all came together to make a fabulous quiche and hopefully a nice representation of beautiful french ingredients.
Now after that wonderful trip I wanted to give you guys the opportunity to visit Paris and enjoy all the food that city has to offer, so I am thrilled to be running a competition where the prize is a trip for two to Paris, including a meal in a michelin starred restaurant, 2 nights in a 3 star hotel plus a wine and cheese tasting in 17th century wine cellar. If you win can you take me with you? The competition is only open to the UK residents (apologies) and you have until October the 6th to enter. The way you enter is very simple, all you have to do is cook a dish using quality french ingredients and post a picture to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #bonappetituk and list the french ingredients you used. You can find the full terms and conditions here http://bit.ly/2wPXulA
Montbeilard Sausage, Comte and Caramelised Onion Quiche
225g plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2-3 tbsp ice cold water
4 small onions
4 tbsp olive oil
175ml creme fraiche
175ml single cream
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
6 large eggs
75g aged comte cheese, grated
200g montbeilard sausage, diced
100g Paris brown mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley
To make the pastry place the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and toss together to combine. Add the diced butter and toss in the flour to coat, then using either your fingertips or a pastry blender cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the water and couple tablespoons at a time, mixing together with a knife. Add enough water until the dough mixture starts to form clumps then get your hands in the bowl and briefly mix together to form a uniform dough. Press into a disc and wrap in clingfilm refrigerating for at least an hour before using.
To make the filling place the oil into a wide pan and heat over a medium low heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have caramelised and have turned a rich golden brown colour. After a few minutes of cooking sprinkle with some salt, this helps the onions to release moisture which prevents them from catching and helps along the caramelisation process. As the onions cook if you find they are sticking a little to the bottom of the pan add a splash or two of water, this will deglaze the pan and release any stuck on bit of onion. Once the onions are almost finished add in the diced sausage, so the flavours can meld together. Once fully cooked tip the onion mixture into bowl and set aside until needed.
Take the dough from the fridge and on a floured work surface roll out until the pastry is a couple mm thick and is wide enough to line the base and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Gently drape the pastry into the pan allowing any excess to hang over the sides of the pastry. Line the inside of the pastry with a crumpled sheet of parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Refrigerate or freeze until the pastry is firm. Bake the pastry in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes before removing the parchment and baking beans and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the inside of the pastry is just starting to brown. Remove the pastry from the oven and brush the inside with egg yolk to form a water tight seal, which prevents the pastry from becoming soggy. Place back in the oven for a minute or two to set. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C an set the pastry aside for the moment.
To finish the filling whisk together the creme fraiche, cream, mustard, parsley and eggs. Once combined stir in the comte, sausage and onion mixture. Pour into the blind baked pastry and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes or until the filling has just started to brown and the custard filling has just set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once fully cooled use a serrated knife to trim away the excess pastry. Serve at room temperature in big wedges.
This post was sponsored by the French Ministry Of Agriculture