This is my return from my evil lair – where I spent months watching films, feeling uninspired, revising for exams and even baking cupcakes. I hope to commit a lot more to the site over the next few months and stay more on top of things.
First things first, I was born in Grimsby. Which I think (hope) is in Lancashire. My geographical skill level is incredibly low. So I am entitled to a rant on how amazing this town and its cheese is. I’ve also visited Holland at least once every year. The amount of cheese they consume is equal the amount of tea we drink. I know. Shocking. So you can tell I like cheese. And with my birth town producing such excellent produce, I knew I had to try and bake with it.
When you hear Lancashire cheese tart, you think of the tiny patisseries and bakeries, where the gorgeous scent of freshly baked bread (and Lancashire cheese tarts) is wafting out from. Each individual baked good is carefully made by hand, with expert precision and tastes just right. That is ideally what we are trying to create. But, in my case, didn’t happen. But I can still dream. My cheese had beautifully melted all over my pastry and filling, giving it a glossy and magazine-like finish, without ever needing to apply oil…. Nuh-uh. I burnt the cheese. However, it gave the tart a little crispy kick, and wasn’t too bad.
Now let’s count how many times I said Lancashire!
(Taken from Mary Berry’s ‘The Aga Book’)
For the pastry:
- 6oz (175g) flour
- 3oz (75g) butter
- Water, to mix
For the filling:
- 12oz (350g) lean bacon pieces, chopped
- A little butter, if needed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 pint (300ml) double cream
- 1/2 pint (300ml) milk
- 6oz (175g) Lancashire cheese, grated
- For the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, mix to a dough with the water. Knead this lightly, and roll out on a floured surface.
- Use it to line the small roasting tin, trim and flute the top edge. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Put the bacon pieces in a pan and heat so you allow the fat to run out; but if the meat is very lean add a little butter. Add the onion and gently fry, until pale golden for another 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then add the cream, milk and seasonings.
- Scatter the bacon and onion over the base, pour over the egg mixture and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Cook for about 25-35 minutes in the roasting oven, turning halfway, until the pastry is golden and the filling is set. However, don’t be tempted to cook for too long as the filling will puff up and overcook.