Recipe for Traditional Basic Ham Egg and Onion Flan or Quiche

by KathleenDuffy

Make a traditional flan or quiche with either store-bought or home-made flan case. This is a delicious, versatile and economical dish eaten hot or cold.

A flan is an open-top pie – sometimes called a quiche. It can be sweet or savoury. Flans are also extremely economical, as suitable leftovers can be incorporated into the filling.

Nowadays, of course, it is possible to buy basic flan cases at supermarkets as well as frozen shortcrust pastry ready for rolling out – and these are usually of excellent quality. They certainly save time, too.

For those who prefer to make everything from scratch, here is a recipe for shortcrust pastry suitable for the flan case, followed by instructions on how to 'blind' bake the flan cake itself.

Then there follows a simple but delicious recipe for Traditional Ham, Egg and Onion Flan.

It’s handy to remember that all cooked flan cases, even store-bought ones, should be painted inside with beaten egg and allowed to dry before putting in the filling. This ensures that the flan doesn’t have a soggy bottom when the filling is eventually added!

Shortcrust Pastry for Savoury Flan Case – White or Wholewheat



  • 225 g/8 oz plain white or wholewheat flour or a mixture of the two.
  • ½ level teaspoon salt
  • 50 g/2 oz hard margarine (if using wholewheat add an extra 25 g/1 oz)
  • 50 g/2 oz lard or hard vegetable fat
  • 2 tablespoons cold water (3 for wholewheat)


  1. Sieve or mix flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Cut fats into small pieces.
  3. Put them into a bowl and rub between fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the water.
  5. Using a round-ended knife stir the mixture until it begins to bind together.
  6. Using your hands, knead the mixture lightly and quickly until dough is formed.

Note: Any leftover pastry can be frozen for use later.

Now Bake Your Flan Case 'Blind'


Baking ‘blind’ is a term used for a flan case that is cooked, or partly-cooked, before the filling is added. Here’s how to do it using the above pastry recipe or store-bought short-crust pastry.


  • Your short-crust pastry, either bought or home-made (see above for recipe)
  • Flan tin or dish
  • Greaseproof paper or foil
  • Little oil or butter/marge for greasing the paper or foil
  • Dried peas or beans (after use, save in a jar for another time - they will be inedible)


  1. Put the flan tin or dish on a baking tray.
  2. On a floured board, roll out the pastry to measure 5 cm/2 inches wider than the diameter of the flan tin or dish.
  3. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper or foil the same diameter as the pastry and lightly grease it.
  4. Now fit the pastry into the flan ring, pressing it in firmly, removing the surplus from the top edge.
  5. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork, all over.
  6. Scrunch up the greaseproof paper or foil to make it fit into the flan tin easily. Open it out and, grease side down, fit it into the flan.
  7. Add a layer of dried peas or beans - or ceramic pie weights -  about 1.5 cm/½ inch deep. This ensures that the flan case stays flat when baking.
  8. Bake in a hot oven, Gas 7, 425°F, 220°C, for approximately 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the beans or peas and the greaseproof paper or foil.
  10. Return the flan case to the oven for a further 10 minutes – keep an eye on it to ensure it doesn’t get too brown.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to cool. (See image here)
  12. Paint inside of the flan case with beaten egg and allow to dry.

The flan case is now ready for filling.

Traditional Ham, Egg and Onion Flan Recipe

This is a very basic, simple example of a traditional savoury flan or quiche. There are many variations on this theme and the pastry case can be home to a never-ending variety of meats, vegetables, fish, cheese and herbs.

Serves 4


  • Home-made (see recipe above) or shop-bought flan case measuring approximately 20 cm/8 inches.
  • 25 g/1 oz ham fat or lard
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 125 g/4 oz cooked ham
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 300 ml/½ pint milk
  • Pepper and pinch of salt
  • 50 g/2 oz grated Cheddar cheese


  1. If not using a store-bought flan case, bake the flan case as instructed above.
  2. Fry the onion gently in the fat until soft.
  3. Mix together the onion and ham and add to the flan case.
  4. Mix together the eggs, milk and seasoning and add to the flan.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  6. Bake near the top of a moderate oven, Gas 6, 400°F, 200°C, for 20 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to Gas 4, 350°F, 180°C for a further 10 minutes until cooked.

This flan is so versatile that it can be served hot or cold, be a main meal or a starter, go in a lunch-box or a picnic basket. The possibilities are endless.

Updated: 12/05/2013, KathleenDuffy
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