Gordon’s lessons in baking continue, as he shows us how to achieve better baking results. Recipes include his simple leek and pancetta quiche, a stylish baked cheesecake and indulgent chocolate tarts.
Leek and Pancetta Quiche
With this recipe, Gordon teaches us valuable lessons in baking techniques.
First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, lifting the mixture up and dropping it back into the bowl – you want to keep the mixture light and airy. When it resembles fine breadcrumbs, mix in 2–3 tablespoons of cold water. Bring the pastry together, then knead lightly on a floured work surface to create a smooth, solid ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Oil a 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
Flour a work surface and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin (3mm). Use to line the prepared tin, pushing it into the corners and sides with a small ball of leftover pastry. Leave some excess pastry overhanging the edges, then prick the base with a fork. Chill for 10 minutes.
Line the chilled pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic baking beans or uncooked rice. Blind bake in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for a further 5–8 minutes until golden. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife, then set the case aside.
Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a large oiled frying pan over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until coloured and almost crisp. Add the leek and sauté for 3–4 minutes until soft and completely cooked through. Drain to remove excess oil if necessary.
Mix the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add three-quarters of the Gruyère and stir in the leek mixture. Mix well then add the parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Pour the mixture into the cooked pastry case, sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and cook in the preheated oven for 15–20 minutes until golden and set.
Remove the quiche and allow to cool slightly before serving.