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Leek and bacon flan

If using a ceramic flan dish, place it on a metal baking sheet to improve heat conduction.

ingredients

serves 4
215 g (7 1/2 oz) shortcrust pastry, defrosted if frozen
40 g (1 1/2 oz) margarine or butter
500 g (1 lb) leeks, sliced
3 large rashers lean bacon, rinds removed and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) strips
1 1/2 teaspoons plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon lemon juice
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten

method

1. Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

2. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and use to line a 20 cm/8 inch flan tin. Prick the base with a fork. Place a large circle of greaseproof paper or foil in the case, weight it down with baking beans and bake blind in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper then return to the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until crisp and lightly coloured.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: melt the margarine in a saucepan, add the leeks, cover and cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft.

4. Place the bacon in a frying-pan and fry it gently in its own fat for about 10 minutes until coloured. Set aside.

5. When the leeks have softened, sprinkle in the flour and sweet paprika and cook for 1 - 2 minutes stirring. Gradually blend in the lemon juice and milk and bring to the boil, stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste (remembering that the bacon will be salty), then remove from the heat and stir in the eggs.

6. When the flan case is cooked, lower the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spread the bacon pieces over the base of the prepared case, then pour the leek mixture over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Serve warm.

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