In this dish the classic combination of cauliflower and cheese is taken up a notch with the addition of smoky bacon and a pastry crust. The intense taste and creaminess of cheddar works beautifully, adding a richness and depth of flavour that makes this an impressive picnic or supper dish.

  • 60 mins
  • 6
  • Easy


  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 pack readymade short crust pastry
  • greaseproof paper
  • dried beans or ceramic beans to weigh down the pastry
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 500ml crème fraiche
  • small bunch chives, chopped
  • 100g grated Cheddar
  • salt and pepper


Preheat to oven to 170°C, 325°F or gas mark 3.

On a floured surface roll the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin and line a 23cm loose bottomed flan tin, gently pushing the pastry into the corners and trimming off the excess.

Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and weight it down with dried beans or ceramic beans, cook for 15 minutes then remove the beans and greaseproof and cook for a further 8 minutes or until the pastry is pale golden.

In a pan of boiling water simmer the cauliflower for 5 minutes until it starts to soften, then drain and set aside.

In a frying pan cook the bacon until brown and crisp, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn the heat down and gently cook the onion in the same pan for 3 to 4 minutes until soft.

Tip the cauliflower, bacon and onion into the pastry shell so they are fairly evenly distributed.

In a bowl combine the eggs, crème fraiche, chives and half the cheese and season to taste.

Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case and top with the remaining cheese. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown and it’s cooked through with just a slight wobble in the centre. Serve warm or cold.

NB. To make this a vegetarian option, miss out the bacon and add ½ tsp nutmeg to the egg mixture at the start of step 5.

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