Saturday, 31 August 2013

Courgette & Cheddar Flan

My courgette plants are doing well, having realised just how much watering they require, I am managing to keep on top of it this year. I'm giving away courgettes of course to everyone who visits whilst trying to come up with new ideas for recipes. One of the issues with courgettes is the large quantity of liquid in their flesh, all that watering no doubt. Salting the grated flesh draws out almost half the weight, making the courgettes easier to use in a flan, avoiding waterlogged pastry.

For this recipe you will need.
350g of shortcrust or similar pastry,
900g of courgette
400g of mature cheddar cheese
400ml of double cream
5 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons of bouillon powder.
2 teaspoons of salt, to draw out the water from the courgettes

Begin by grating the courgettes. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Leave the grated courgette to allow the water to leach out, this will take around half an hour. Now transfer the grated courgette into a sieve or colander and place over the bowl so that the water can now drain away. I place a plate and a heavy weight over the grated courgette to speed up the process, (a further half hour). You should end up with roughly 450g of courgette flesh, the drier the better.

While the courgette is draining, roll out the pastry and line a flan tin measuring 24cm by 5cm and bake blind in a hot oven 200C for 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the oven, remove the baking parchment and baking beans if using and dry the pastry case out for a further 10 minutes in the oven having turned down the temperature to 180C.

Mix the drained courgette with the grated cheese, eggs, cream, pepper and bouillon powder and transfer the filling to the baked pastry case, place the flan in the oven and cook for 1 hour to an hour and a quarter until the top is a rick golden brown colour and the flan feels firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

A tablespoon of chopped chives makes a good addition to the filling.

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