Short Crust Pastry
125g butter, cold and cubed
250g plain flour (3¼ cup)
1 egg yolk
Up to a ¼ cup cold water
Pinch of salt
½ an onion, finely sliced
1 tsp olive oil
200g speck or streaky bacon, chopped into lardons
2 small zucchini, cut into rounds
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
300ml thickened cream
Pinch of nutmeg
80g cheddar cheese (optional)
For the pastry, place flour, butter and salt into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until it forms a crumb-like consistency. Add the egg yolk and water, and blend for a few more seconds until it just comes together. Tip pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disc. Wrap pastry in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, cook the onion with the olive oil in a large pan until softened, and then add the speck for 5-6 minutes or until crispy. Add the zucchini and thyme in the last two minutes. Add a good crack of black pepper. Cool to room temperature.
Grease a 23cm loose-base flan dish. Roll out pastry into a 3mm thick large circle and then line dish, ensuring the pastry overhangs. Press the pastry firmly into the dish and trim the excess. Prick base with a fork and cover pastry base with baking paper. Fill with pastry weights (or rice or dried beans). Place back in the fridge for 30 minutes, then blind bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Remove the pastry weights and paper and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Whisk the eggs with the cream and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Evenly sprinkle the pastry with the speck and zucchini mixture followed by cheese (if using) on the base. Pour in the cream mixture and carefully transfer back to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until golden and set.