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Red summer flan

This colourful flan makes a satisfying lunch or supper dish. Serve hot with a fresh green vegetable and new potatoes, or serve cold with a mixed green salad.
Canned peppers may be used instead of fresh peppers - there is no need to cook them, simply drain, slice and stir into the cooked garlic.

ingredients

250 g (9 oz) red peppers, deseeded and cut into thin slices
350 g (12 oz) tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
25 g (1 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

pastry

175 g (6 oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
50 g (2 oz) margarine, diced
25 g (1 oz) lard, diced
50 g (2 oz) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 tablespoons cold water
lightly beaten egg white, to seal

method

1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Make the pastry: sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the margarine and lard and rub in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese and herbs,
then add the cold water and mix to a fairly firm dough.

3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and roll out thinly. Use to line a 20 cm/8 inch flan ring, set on a baking sheet, prick the base with a fork. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper or foil in* the pastry case and weight it down with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the paper or foil lining and beans, brush the inside of the pastry case with beaten egg white, then return the pastry to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

5. Make the filling: heat the oil in a frying-pan, add the peppers and fry gently for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and continue to cook until soft and lightly coloured. Set aside.

6. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl with the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

7. Spread the peppers over the base of the flan case, then cover with the tomato slices. Sprinkle with sugar, then finish with a layer of the breadcrumb mixture.

8. Bake in the oven for 30 - 35 minutes until the tomatoes are tender and the pastry is golden.

9. Serve the flan hot or cold.

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