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Back to Basics 13 - Quiche

Do you remember that old song, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden,” no? Ah well, I am showing my age. Well, I never promised you a rose garden, but I did promise you a quiche tutorial in Back to Basics 12, Shortcrust Pastry, so here we go.

The first thing I want to say here is, breathe. People are really afraid of quiche, and they don’t need to be. Let’s look at it this way, what is a quiche? When we set aside the pastry case (done that, back to basics 12, tick), and the fillings, seriously, you can use whatever you have and the quiche itself will make it fancy, a bit of cooked bacon and onion and tasty cheese, ah, Quiche Lorraine! Some drained tinned salmon, a couple of spring onions and some Parmesan cheese, ah, Salmon en Crute. I think this is what makes people nervous about quiche, it is perceived to be fancy, but again I ask, setting aside our fillings and our pastry case, what is quiche? Well, it is eggs and milk and cream. What is eggs and milk and cream? That is exactly right, it is a custard. Easy peasy.

I am going to pause now so our dairy free and gluten free people can leave the room. Off you go, this is only going to make you hungry and sad.

Right, so we have made our pastry cases and they are sitting in the freezer waiting for us to get everything else together. If you are stumped on pastry case go read back to basics 11 and 12 for pastry basics and the crumble topped apple pie recipe to see how to do the pinched edge. A pinched edge is very good here, we do not want pastry shrinkage with a quiche.

Okay, so make up some cases, family sized or some small ones, we will do filling to suit six single sized or two family, so bear that in mind when you are making your pastry.

Now, preheat your oven to 160 degrees C, fan forced. Get all of your filling ingredients together, here, let me show you some I did for my daughter Emma to pop in the freezer.

So for these ones in the foreground I had a little bit of leek, some nice tender inner stems of celery and some Swiss chard (silverbeet), which I sautéed in a little butter, add a crumble of feta, top with a pinch of tasty cheese, we shall call them Verde en Crute. Green Quiche. The ones in behind are a vegetarian quiche, tomato, red onion, olives, feta, basil, tasty cheese on top. Anyway, you get the picture, pop your filling into the bottom of your pastry shell, brush the edges with eggwash so they get a nice bit of colour, now top them off with your custard.

Ingredients -

5 eggs

150ml cream

300ml milk

Mix together, yes, it is this easy. If you find you don’t have enough custard make up a little more, just stick close to the ratio.

A word from an expert here, use a small jug to pour your custard into the quiche shells, I use the bottom off my juicer, fill them up by about half, then let the custard settle, then top them up, don’t overfill them or they will storm the rim in the oven and you will have flooded quiche.

See? Give them a little room to expand. Now, straight into the preheated oven and keep an eye on them, single sized ones like these will take 20 - 25 minutes, when they puff up it is time to pull them out or you will have tough quiche.

See? Puffy? We don’t want them puffier than this or the custard could split and you will have egg and juice. Silky is what we are looking for, a silky custard, so don’t go off and leave this one. If you are unsure whether they are cooked give them a jiggle, they should not jiggle, a tiny jiggle is okay, it will firm up with residual heat, but a sloshing custard is no good. Don’t use eggs you are unsure of in this recipe, salmonella can be deadly and we are not cooking these at a high enough heat for long enough to be sure that they are safe. Safety first. Use eggs that are not too elderly that you are sure of.

“Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometime...” la, la, la. See you next time.


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