What did I do? Cry? Drink to forget? Work late into the night on my deadline like some kind of responsible adult?
None of the above, my friends. I just went to the shops, bought bacon, and made a massive pie. All better.
I opted for a chicken and asparagus quiche filling, and I'll tell you for why: it's all I had leftover in the fridge. Basically, you can choose whatever you like for the filling - but aim for something that will work well with the bacon.
Maple Bacon Lattice-Topped Chicken and Asparagus Quiche (Serves: 4-6)
You will need:
- One packet shortcrust pastry, ready-rolled to about the same depth as a pound coin, and at room temperature (you can make your own gluten-free version if you prefer)
- 4 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 12 thin rashers of bacon
- 3 eggs
- 250g leftover roast chicken, torn into small strips/chunks
- 200ml double cream
- 1 handful fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 8 asparagus spears, lightly boiled already, and chopped into small chunks
- Gently lay your room-temperature pastry over a pie dish. Trim it so it overlaps the edges of the dish by about half an inch. Completely do not freak out if you have to use the trimmings to 'fill in' little gaps or holes where your pastry doesn't perfectly fit the dish - we're not serving this to Mary Berry.
- Pop it in the fridge for half an hour. This helps stop it from cracking in the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees while you wait.
- Once the half an hour is up, blind bake your quiche. If you haven't learnt what that means from The Great British Bake Off yet, you just bake it without the filling - line the pastry with a baking sheet topped with baking beads, and pop it in the oven. Bake for 15-20 mins, until the edges are crisp and golden.
- While the pie bakes, combine the sugar and maple syrup in a bowl and pop it in a microwave for about 20 seconds so it becomes runny. Arrange the bacon rashers in a lattice on a wire cooling rack, and use a pastry brush to give them a healthy coating of the maple mixture. Pop the rack on top of a grill pan that's been lined with baking foil, ready to go in the oven.
- Once the 15-20 minutes are up, remove the pie from the oven and take out the baking parchment and beads. Put the pastry back in the oven for about 5 minutes.
- In this time, lightly beat three eggs. Add the cream and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.
- Once the pie's five minutes in the oven are up, remove it and arrange the chicken and asparagus in the bottom. Then pour over the egg mixture.
- Carefully return the pie to the middle shelf of the oven, and put the bacon on the top shelf. Bake them both for 30-35 minutes, until the pie filling is lightly golden on top and the bacon is crispy and dark (the black bits are the tastiest).
- Allow both to cool for 10 minutes, and then slide the bacon (I used a spatula to unstick it from the wires first!) on top of the pie. Then eat it. Eat it all. Eat it good.