A summer holiday in South Devon spent on boats and beaches has become a ritual with our family and so too have the daily picnics we take with us on our expeditions. Each morning like brushing my teeth I make the days quiche, prick sausages ready for the beach fire and slice up Devonshire hog’s pudding while the children shout and fight round me in an infuriating, restless way. But the effort is worth it for the pleasure it gives everyone to eat those delicious hot picnics in the brisk sea air. There is nothing more removed from packets of dreary sandwiches than a warm and crumbling quiche and smoky tasting sausages cooked on a driftwood fire and then wrapped in a hunk of fresh bread. Those summer holidays are one time when there is no moment to dream up food because there are too many nice outdoor things going on and hungry children running in and out of the kitchen. I rely on my standard holiday dishes which I can make without thinking. Quiches are so good for picnics and they keep really warm wrapped up in greaseproof paper and thick newspaper, even on a windy boat journey. This quiche is less usual and very delicious. If you are in a hurry don’t bother to bake the pastry blind first, simply spoon in the filling and bake and it will taste very good. But if you have time the pastry is of course crisper and better if it has been baked blind.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut the butter and lard into the flour and rub with your fingertips until it is like breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheese with a knife and then the egg yolk and
Mix the eggs lightly with the milk, salt, pepper and mustard in a large mixing bowl. Peel and chop the onions into small pieces and fry gently in butter until soft and transparent. Stir into the mixing bowl. Take the flesh from the mackerel, discarding the skin, and flake it into the bowl. Put this mixture into the baked pastry case and bake in a pre-heated oven at Gas 5 (375°F/190°C) for 30–40 minutes until just firm in the centre. If the flan case is uncooked it may take
© 1976 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.