Monday, 21 March 2011

Three Cheese and Onion Flan

This flan with it's crisp pastry and creamy cheesy filling, is great for lunch with some home-made coleslaw.  For the coleslaw try 2/3 mayonnaise 1/3 natural yoghurt and the finely grated zest of 1 lemon mixed into shredded white cabbage, grated carrot and a little red onion, finely chopped. 

For the pastry

6oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 oz butter
1 1/2 oz white cooking fat
Very cold water

          For the filling

3 oz cheddar cheese, grated
3 oz gruyere, grated
2 oz parmesan, grated
2 tsp English mustard
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
5 eggs, lightly beaten
3½fl oz milk
7fl oz double cream
Salt and freshly milled pepper

To make the pastry, sift the flour together with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter and fat until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough cold water to make the 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 prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 20 minutes. Brush the pastry base with a little of the egg mixture and return to the oven for another five minutes.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
Mix the 3 cheeses together then sprinkle into the pastry base, leaving a little to sprinkle over the top, then add the sliced onion. 

Combine the eggs with the milk, mustard and cream in a bowl and season well. Pour over the  cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven  and set aside for 5 minutes to allow to set further.

Trim the pastry edges.
Serve warm with home-made coleslaw

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