Courgette and Bacon Flan Recipe

This is an absolutely brilliant flan for the centrepiece of a table (Fig 1), so filling and nourishing, but also useful because you can put almost anything in it. You will notice that almost all of the ingredients as far as we are concerned, we can provide ourselves. Served warm or cold it's lovely with a salad, beetroot and potato salad – my favourite way, however, is with chips.   Figure 1

Basic essentials are:

2 lbs. diced or sliced courgette.

1 large onion, sliced.

2 cloves garlic.

4 slices of smoked belly bacon (diced) or lardons.

1 large red pepper, finely sliced.

Handful of cooked cut French beans.

¼ to ½ lbs. grated strong, hard cheese.

4 large eggs.

½ pint milk.

Seasoning for flavour

55g butter or fat of choice, if making the pastry.

125g plain flour to make pastry, or ready-made frozen short crust pastry.

In addition to the basic ingredients, soft boiled and sliced potatoes work well, also you can add spinach, broccoli, or anything else you have a glut of, or, whatever takes your fancy.


Method:

Shortcrust pastry:

125g plain flour (white flour)

55g butter diced into half inch cubes

30-40ml water (or as required)

Put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub into a breadcrumb consistency. Add enough cold water to bind the dough together, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and place on a floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll out to a thickness you are happy with for a flan, 2 to 3mm or 1/8 of an inch. Place the pastry in a flan dish, making sure it fits into the edges without air pockets, leaving some over the sides. Prick the base with a fork (Figure 2) then blind bake in a preheated oven at 180°C.

We use parchment paper and dried beans to do this, or just use frozen pastry which works just as well.

Take a large frying pan, just moisten the base with olive oil, add the bacon, onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the courgette and cooked beans, garlic and pepper; cook until soft (Fig 3) – if you are adding other ingredients you will need to decide when this is appropriate so that all of the produce arrive at the same state of readiness at the same time.

Add the eggs to a jug or bowl (Fig 4). Beat the eggs and add the milk, mix, then add the grated cheese and stir into the mix.

After letting the cooked ingredients cool down, add them to the flan (Fig 5).

Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5

 

Add the beaten eggs and cheese mix over the cool ingredients (Fig 6) and make sure it has spread out evenly, don't be tempted to take the mix right to the top as it will expand whilst cooking.

Slice a tomato and add for decoration(Fig 7), then pop into the preheated fan oven 180°C for 40 to 45 minutes (fig 8), if the flan starts to get too brown on top, you can always cover over the top with some foil to prevent over browning.

Remove after 45 min. Allow to cool, and serve whilst slightly warm (Fig 9).

Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9