It takes a lot to beat a really good quiche although a good specimen can be hard to find, leading people to believe that an overly chilled, dehydrated supermarket quiche is acceptable. Once you have tried the real deal, nothing except a freshly baked one with a crisp, buttery pastry and light, delicious filling will ever do again.
Use our tried and tested recipe to transform your ingredients into a sublime tart.
Cookery School Quiche
FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
225g / 8 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
110g / 4 oz chilled butter, cut into small cubes
sufficient iced water to blend
FOR THE FILLING
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
any ‘filling’ of choice, e.g. sautéed courgettes, sautéed mushrooms, artichoke hearts, steamed broccoli, smoked salmon, ham, crab, shrimps
grated Gruyère, Parmesan or Cheddar cheese,
large handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
5 eggs, beaten
550ml / 1 pint cream, or cream and milk mixed
pinch of ground nutmeg, if desired
salt and freshly ground pepper
1) First make the pastry. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2) Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
3) Add just sufficient iced water to form a firm ball of dough. Do not knead or mix. It is better for the pastry to be on the dry side rather than too wet.
4) Wrap in greaseproof paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
5) Preheat your oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.
6) Roll out the pastry to line a 28cm / 11 inch pie tin, ensuring that the pastry is not stretched. Prick the base lightly and chill again for at least 30 minutes.
7) Line the pastry with foil or greaseproof paper and fill with ‘baking beans’.
8) Bake in the oven for about 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until ready to use. It will be crisp and light brown without any oily looking patches.
9) Place the oil or butter in a frying pan set over a medium high heat, add the onions and fry until golden brown.
10) Spread the fried onion over the bottom of the baked pastry case.
11) Spread your filling(s) of choice over top of the onions.
12) Sprinkle over the chopped parsley or any other herbs of choice.
13) Beat the eggs well and then add the milk or cream and milk mixture.
14) Season well with salt and pepper and nutmeg, if desired.
15) Reduce the oven temperature to 170ºC / 325ºF.
16) Place the quiche tin in the oven with the shelf pulled out. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the ingredients in the tin and fill as high as possible but make sure the mixture does not flow over the edges of the pastry otherwise it will become soggy.
17) Bake for about 25 minutes or until the centre is set.
This pastry can also be made in a food processor, but take care not to over-mix. Add the flour, salt and butter to the food processor. Whizz until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then add the iced water and whizz again. Stop as soon as the mixture starts to form a ball of dough. Chill before using.