For the pastry
175g/6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g/2¾oz butter, plus extra for greasing
(alternatively use ready made pastry)
For the filling
250g/9oz English cheddar, grated
4 tomatoes, sliced (optional)
200g/7oz bacon, chopped
5 eggs, beaten
100ml/3½fl oz milk
200ml/7fl oz double cream
freshly ground black pepper
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- To make the pastry, sift the flour together with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough cold water to make the crumb mixture come together to form a firm dough, and then rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a 22cm/8½inch well-buttered flan dish. Don't cut off the edges of the pastry yet. Chill again.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
- Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line the base of the pastry with baking parchment and then fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for another five minutes to cook the base
- Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
- Sprinkle the cheese into the pastry base and add the sliced tomatoes if you are using them. Fry the bacon pieces until crisp and sprinkle over them over the top.
- Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a bowl and season well. Pour over the bacon and cheese. Sprinkle the thyme over the top and trim the edges of the pastry.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set further.
- Trim the pastry edges to get a perfect edge and then serve in wedges.[/list}