Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Everyone loves quiche, right?
It is actually easy to make, but then I have a pastry-making gene, as my mum was an ace pastry-maker.
But, honestly how hard can pastry be?
It has 3 ingredients and one of those is water!
So this is how to make quiche - and pastry.
For a roughly 25cm quiche dish you need -
190g plain flour
98g butter or margerine
some cold water, put some water in a jug or cup and add an ice cube.
There are 2 ways to make pastry - the messy, controlled way or the keep-your-hands-clean slightly more chaotic method.
The messy way is the "rubbing in" method.
Put the flour in a bowl and cut the butter (or margerine) up with a knife right in the flour. Keep chopping at it with your knife.
"Hey, that's not messy!"
But wait - here comes the bit where you put your hands into the flour and butter and rub the mixture between your thumb and fingers until "it resembles breadcrumbs" (that's the classic description) or until it the butter has become one with the flour with no big lumps.
Make a bit of a hollow in the middle and pour in a couple of tablespoons of cold water.
Mix in with a knife.
This part is a bit more tricky because the exact amount of water is open to debate.
You want the mixture to come together to form a ball of dough, without being too dry or too soggy.
You might need to add a bit more water and keep stirring like mad with the knife.
When it is all pretty much gathered into a lump, turn it out onto a previously floured work surface and quickly and gently knead it into a ball.
Do not overdo this part as if there is one thing that pastry hates and that is too much massage.
Wrap in glad wrap and pop it in the fridge.
Put flour and butter in food processor.
Add 2 tablespoons of water.
You might need to scrape everything back off the sides of the bowl.
You might have to add a bit more water. Whiz until it kind of all sticks together.
(At this stage I always add too much water and end up with sticky goop).
Then do the dumping out onto the floured bench part...
Heat your oven to 200 C.
Prepare the filling.
I used asparagus.
I steamed the asparagus for 1 minute in the microwave.
I kept 6 or 7 spears and chopped the rest into 2cm lengths.
Beat 4 eggs in a bowl or jug.
Add 1 cup of cream/milk/or a mixture.
I added some dried tarragon as it seems to go nicely with asparagus and seasoned with pepper.
Grate a cup of cheese.
When the oven is heated up you are going to blind- bake the pastry.
Get the pastry out of the fridge and put on your floured surface.
Roll it out with a rolling pin if you have one, with a bottle or glass if you don't, until it becomes a circle just a little bigger that your quiche dish.
Drape it over the rolling pin and lay it on the dish, easing it down into the corners, trying not to stretch it. Pastry doesn't like to be stretched.
It should drape slightly over the edges, yes?
Trim the edge off and keep the trimmings.
If you pastry has cracked or got a hole somewhere, you can patch it with these trimmings. Moisten the pastry with your finger dipped in water and stick the patch to the hole.
Get a big piece of greaseproof paper or baking paper or aluminium foil and line the pastry shell with it.
Next you need some dried beans to weight down the pastry so it doesn't puff up when you bake it.
Pop in the oven for about 20 mins until the pastry looks slightly cooked and the edges just starting to colour.
Take out of the oven and remove the paper and beans.
You can keep the beans in a jar for next time,but you can't use them to make real beans anymore.
Sprinkle a bit of the grated cheese in the pie shell.
Add the asparagus.
Pour eggy mixture over the top.
Sprinkle on rest of cheese.
Lay reserved asparagus spears decoratively on the top.
Cook in oven for about 30 mins until puffed up and browned.
See? It's easy!