So. Yesterday morning I decided quiche and salad would make the perfect lunch. I’d intended to have boiled new potatoes too, but completely forgot them at the last minute. Ah well.
The quiche was going to be one of those fridge leftover scooper uppers, taking in full fat milk; some rashers of bacon, a red onion, frozen broad beans, and a chunk of Coolea cheese left over from G’s birthday. Oh, and lots and lots of eggs. And some parsley picked from the doorstep.
8oz plain flour
2oz butter, cold from the fridge
2oz lard (cookeen), also cold from the fridge
Some grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, and some harissa style spice mix
- Sift the flour into a large bowl
- Chop the butter and lard in chunks into the flour
- Using your fingertips, rub everything together, lifting it high over the bowl as you go to incorporate air into the mix
- When it resembles breadcrumbs (ish) add the seasoning and flavourings if you want them – here I used some leftover parmesan in the fridge and some spicy herb mix
- Using a knife mix in enough cold water to form a stiff dough
- Squash down a bit (so it’s easier to roll out later) and wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Snip the bacon rashers with a pair of scissors into a frying pan (you could of course use a sharp knife, but I find it much easier to use scissors)
- Finely chop the red onion and add to the pan with the bacon
- Add a knob of butter and cook gently over a medium heat
- Meanwhile, if your broad beans need to be peeled again (the grey skin isn’t the nicest flavour, and it doesn’t look too good) then quickly boil them up in a pan with a little water. Boil for a couple of minutes, then rinse in cold water. They are easy to peel – nick the grey skin with your finger nails, then squeeze the bright green beans out of the grey pocket. Yum. You’ll be surprised how small a bowl you need for the actual beans!
- Break the asparagus into roughly inch long sections. Start by holding the asparagus at both ends and bend it till it breaks. The end you are holding with the tip is the good stuff. The other end may be too woody and can be thrown away. To be honest, in this recipe I ended up using a bit of the woody end too.
- By now you can probably take the pastry out of the fridge, roll it out to about 3-4mm and line your well greased tart tin. Or lots of wee ones if you are making individual quiches.
- Prick the base with a fork, leave the pastry draped over the edges while you bake it. If you don’t the pastry is likely to shrink from the edges and it will be neater if you cook it like this and then cut off the draped edges later.
- Roughly cut a piece of greaseproof paper so it is slightly bigger than the tart. Lay this on top of the pastry and cover with baking beans, or ordinary dry beans or rice.
- Cook in a hot oven for about 10-15 mins, then remove the paper and the baking beans and cook for a further 3-4 minutes
- While it’s in the oven you can crack your eggs into a big bowl and start whisking them – I just use a hand whisk. Add some milk, or cream if you have any. Or creme fraiche. You could also add mascarpone cheese or other cream cheese if you have some.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Now, neaten the edges of the pastry case, and then start adding the filing.
- First, make a layer of bacon and onion. Then add the broad beans and the then the asparagus. Grate over some cheese and if you have any herbs add them – I’ve got a couple of pots of parsley by the front door and snipped off a good handful and sprinkled this over the other filling.
- You might want to put the tart tin onto another baking tray at this stage, just in case of leakage.
- Finally, pour in the eggy mixture and put straight into a hot oven.
- It’ll be ready in oh, about 20 – 30 minutes.