My love for tartiflette knows no bounds: tender slices of potato, smoky bacon and browned onions melded together by hot melted cheese sets my heart a-flutter (and, if I consumed it as frequently as I wished, would probably also stop my heart). Designed to revive hard-working mountain dwellers in the Haute Savoie, nowadays it’s also the perfect calorie-fest after a hard day’s skiing. It’s hearty, rich, warming and utterly, utterly delicious. The cheese of choice is Reblochon a mildly pungent, nutty cheese from the French Alps which has a melty, soft texture and turns bubbly, golden and crisp around the edges when baked. During three lovely months spent in the Haute Savoie, living in the lake-side town of Annecy, I worked my way through a good number of tartiflettes made with all sorts of cheeses. Whilst they were all great (especially the goat’s cheese ones) the classic recipe is definitely the best. If you should find yourself in the area you can’t go far wrong at Le Freti, cheese shop by day and restaurant by night. Just be sure to book a table in advance.
But what has all this got to do with quiche? Well I found myself with an abundance of eggs and some pastry going spare which were calling out for quiche even though my belly was calling out for tartiflette. So was born my tartiflette quiche. It’s not exactly a light dish but binding the potatoes, bacon and onions with eggs rather than cheese didn’t feel quite as heavy as the real deal. You don’t need a day’s skiing to justify a plateful but a sedate stroll or a spot of gardening might be nice. Of course the cheese still gets a role, there’s no point waxing lyrical about Reblochon if it’s not going in the recipe. It’s just a slightly smaller role – supporting actor rather than the lead, a few thick slices over the top rather than a whole cheese – the flavour still comes through well enough to deliver that tartiflette umpf and steal the show.
For the pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold butter cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 tsp cold water
For the filling:
- 75g bacon lardons
- 1 onion
- 1 large potato (about 300g)
- 100g reblochon cheese, sliced
- 4 large eggs
- 100ml creme fraiche
- salt and pepper
First make your pastry. Place the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the pastry comes together into a ball. Turn out on to a floured surface, form a smooth ball and gently roll out as thinly as you can.
Line a quiche or tart tin, about 25cm across and use your fingers to gently press the pastry into the fluted edges. Trim any excess pastry leaving a small lip above the edge of the tin in case of shrinkage. Prick the base with a fork and chill int he fridge for 30 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Line the pastry case with baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake at 200°C for 15 minutes, remove the beans and paper and bake for another 5 minutes. If you notice any holes or cracks seal them with a little of the excess pastry.
In a small frying pan fry the bacon and onions until golden brown. Set aside.
Slice the potato into 5mm thick slices, boil in a pan of salted water for 10 minutes until just tender. Carefully strain and pat dry.
Whisk together the eggs and creme fraiche, season with a little salt (the cheese and bacon are already quite salty) and black pepper.
Arrange half the potato over the base of the pastry then scatter over the bacon and onion and a third of the cheese. Top with the remaining potato then top with the remaining cheese. Gradually pour the eggs over the top and into any gaps between the potato.
Lower the oven to 180°C and bake for 25 minutes. If the top appears to be browning too quickly cover with foil.
The quiche should have a slight wobble in the centre and be golden brown on top. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before serving.