Do not confuse a classic cheese and onion flan with a quiche; quiche now seems to describe any filled, open party case, not even representing the true meaning of the traditional French dish. The flan is made differently and certainly tastes different. It is the traditional British version of the ubiquitous quiche and for many Brits is the stuff of memories of school dinners, summer lunches and dinners with the flan served alongside a salad and often boiled new potatoes.
The cheese and onion flan is making something of a comeback which is lovely to know as it is an easy dish to make and lends itself so beautifully to several variations, see below. Cheese and Onion flan is also delightful with an afternoon tea.
- For the Pastry:
- 7 oz./200g plain flour or all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 4 oz./110g butter, cubed or an equal mix of butter and lard
- 2 to 3 tbsp. very cold water
- Note: Makes approx 10 oz./300g pastry
- For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup/55g butter
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 to 4 large eggs measuring 200ml of egg when measured
- 3 ounces/75g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- 2 to 3 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 cup/200 ml. milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Start by making the pastry:
Place the flour, salt, butter (or butter and lard mix) into a large, roomy mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles sand. Add the water a little at a time and bring the mixture together to create a soft dough. Leave the pastry to rest, wrapped in clingfilm in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
You can also make the pastry in a food processor, follow the instructions in the shortcrust pastry recipe.
While the pastry is resting, heat the butter and oil in a saucepan. Once melted, add the sliced onion and cook over medium heat to soften (but not brown) the onions. Place the softened onions onto a dinner plate and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Roll the pastry to 5mm and line a greased, 25cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Chill in the refrigerator while you make the remaining filling.
Put the eggs (200ml) into a large measuring jug. Add the cooled onions, the grated cheese, the parsley and top up with the milk - you will have 700ml mixture - season with a little salt and black pepper.
Take the pastry case from the refrigerator, place it on the middle shelf of the preheated oven, carefully pour in the egg -onion-cheese mixture until it is two-thirds full. Do not over fill as the flan will rise in cooking. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes until the top is golden brown, and set but not solid when gently pressed in the centre.
Remove from the oven and rest for five minutes before serving. The flan is lovely warm but can also be eaten cold.
Alternatives to the Classic Cheese and Onion Flan
- Add bacon pieces or tiny cubes into the egg for the meat eaters.
- Use a different cheese, crumbly blue is amazing.
- Change or add a different herb, the softer ones such as basil, tarragon will work best
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||59 g|
|Saturated Fat||23 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||19 g|
|Dietary Fiber||4 g|