Yes, I cheat. I sometimes use ready made marmalade ‘gunk’ to make my own marmalade – purists, breathe… But, as I never use ready-made food or processed food, I allow myself the odd ‘time-saving’ opportunity. And I am a very avid cheater when it comes to pastry… There are times to make your own pastry, and times not.
So – ready made pastry. Use it when you have ingredients to use up. As long as you have ready made pastry of some sort, usually shortcrust, then you can make a quiche or tart. You just need eggs, milk, the ready made pastry as your standard list. After that, go to town and chuck in whatever you have going – onions with cheese, bacon with mushrooms, apples with pork, chicken with – well whatever you fancy. It is entirely up to you.
Take a flan container that is oven proof – as long as it doesn’t have holes in the bottom! I say that because there are some flan or quiche tins that have holes. Don’t use those unless you want to bake the pastry first so that it is crisp and none of the contents spill through. I can’t be bothered with such a 2-stage process.
Roll the shortcrust over and then into the tin. Press it into the crinkly edges if you have a crinkly shaped container. Cook/fry/prepare whatever your ingredients are. Then whisk the ‘liquid’ element. Generally if you have 300 ml milk, then you add 2 eggs. You might have a small flan tin in which case you won’t need 300 ml of liquid so just save it for something else. Pour the liquid over the contents. Grate some cheese over the top – I grate loads but do as you like for your own tastes.
Then put it in the oven for about 40 minutes on whatever your ‘medium’ is. I tend to check after about 30 minutes. If I am doing a small flan/quiche, then check every 10 minutes.
So you see – it is easy to cheat by buying your pastry and then you just go with the flow in terms of what you like in your flan/quiche.
I added some herbs – in this case I had basil so I added that, hence the dark colours on the top. But add whatever you have plenty of or have a hankering for.
As for the difference between a flan and a quiche? There are many explanations of the difference with some saying there is no difference – don’t worry about it! Call it what you like. As long as it is quick to prepare, uses up whatever ingredients you have and you enjoy, and tastes good, who cares.
So – let’s recap this cheating experience: ready made shortcrust, eggs, milk, and whatever ingredients you fancy. What could be more simple. Perhaps buying one but, in my book, that is a little cheat too far!