Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ham 'n' Eggs

We had a visit today from one of my old school friends and her family. She had a baby in September and little Alexander is getting on so well. He looks way different from when we saw him in January (pre-Zachary) and is a really speedy crawler! He's also saying a few words now and wants to be up and walking around ALL the time. Lovely, but probably extremely exhausting for the parent holding his hands! Gave us a good view though as to what we might have to look forward to in a few months...

It gave me a chance to pretend I'm a real housewife and I actually prepared lunch rather than leaving it for L to arrange. Spent the morning doing a bit of cooking and tidying up and even Z was helpful by falling asleep for an hour (after two nappy changes and a feed!). I made Rachel Allen's ham and egg pie which actually came out quite well. I was a little dubious when the custardy mixture didn't appear to be filling the pie dish at all but it came out okay. Didn't take a piccie but here is the recipe (quite eggy - I think I've now had my week's allowance!):

200g shortcrust pastry made with 125g flour, 75g butter, pinch of salt and 1/2-1 beaten egg (mix flour, salt and butter using the rubbing in method, use egg to bind and then chill in clingfilm for 1/2 hour before use)

15g butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
6 eggs
75ml double cream
150g cooked ham or cooked bacon rashers
1 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180c (350f, gas 4). Roll out the pastry and line a 25cm (10") ovenproof plate. Trim the pastry so that it is a bit bigger than the plate, and then fold up the edges slightly so that you have a slight lip all the way around. This will prevent the cream from running off the plate when you put it in the oven. Place the pastry on its plate in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling - melt the butter in a small saucepan add the onions and cook over a gentle heat until soft. Whisk 2 of the eggs in a bowl, add the cream, the cooked onions, chopped ham and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour this in the pastry case. Carefully break the remaining eggs onto the tart, trying to keep the yolks intact.

Bake for 25-35 minutes in the preheated oven (just under 30 mins worked for me) until the custard is set in the centre and the eggs on top are just cooked (hmmm... mine came out well cooked!). Serve warm or allow to cool.

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