The Perfect Quiche
I just love a great quiche. Nothing too fancy, just a cheese and tomato quiche will do me just fine. A generous sized portion with a side of salad … now there is a great meal.
It has taken me a while to perfect my quiche recipe. When I first starting making my own quiche, I use to use ready rolled pastry because I wasn’t confident enough to make my own. Pastry work is not my strong point … but when I deconstructed the idea, I wondered … is it really that hard? So I researched and practiced and I think I have found a wonderful pastry recipe. Trust me, if I can make this from scratch, so can you.
Firstly, we’re going to make the pastry. The flaky pastry I am going to make is made up of three ingredients: flour, butter and cold water.
Put the flour and a little salt into a large bowl. I like to use super cold butter then use a grater to grate the butter into the flour. Using two forks, mix the butter, salt and flour together. I like to use two forks instead of using fingers because the warmth of your fingers will start to melt the butter. You want to keep the butter cold as possible.
Once the flour and butter is roughly mixed together, weigh out the cold water and slowly add the cold water to the flour and butter mixture. Gently mix together the flour, butter and water with a fork until all the water is added. Tip the mixture on to a lightly floured surface and gently use your hands to bring it together. Fold the dough together until the butter and flour are mixed well together. Do not knead the dough – just gently fold together. Do this quickly so the butter doesn’t start to get warm and melt. It is normal to see specks of butter in the dough so don’t over mix it.
Once the dough is combined, form the dough into a ball, gently flatten it until it is the shape of a disk then wrap it in some clingfilm. Put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.
Now would be a good time to preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (200°C / 400°F).
Grease a 9″ fluted loose bottom quiche tin with a generous amount of butter.
Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Using a large rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 2mm to 3mm thick. Roll the dough into a large circle – roll outwards and keep turning the dough as you roll it to get an almost round shape.
Carefully lift the rolled out pastry and place it on top of the quiche tin. Use your fingers to gently press the pastry dough into the edges of the quiche tin. Take your time with this part, you want the pastry to fill every pary of the tin, so really take your time to push the pastry into each groove.
You want some of the pastry to hang over the edge of the quiche tin. Do not trim all of this off. This will be trimmed off after it has been baked. The reason for leaving some pastry overhanging is to anticipate some pastry shrinkage during the baking process.
Place the pastry tin back into the fridge to chill for an hour or so before we blind bake it.
Once chilled, we need to blind bake the pastry. Firstly, use a fork to prick the bottom of the pastry. This is to prevent the pastry from puffing up when baking.
Line the pastry with a piece of parchment, then fill the quiche tin with baking beads. We are going to bling bake the pastry so that when we bake the pastry with the egg mixture, we are trying to prevent getting a soggy bottom.
Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes until you see the edges turning light brown. After 15 minutes, remove the baking beads and parchment paper and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. The pastry should be partly cooked and a nice light brown colour.
Whilst the pastry is blind baking, we can get on with the filling.
Ths quiche filling recipe is like a blank canvas. You can add almost anything you want: fish, seafood, bacon, chicken or other proteins, vegetables, and salads and different cheeses. Experiment and add your own favourite fillings.
For the basic filling, combine the eggs, milk, cream with a handful of cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add whatever fillings you like at this point – bearing in mind you don’t want to add too much so aim for around 150g to 200g in weight of filling.
In todays quiche I added a handful of spinach and some streaky bacon. Mix all the ingredients well and add to the blind baked pastry. I sprinkled some more cheese on top and finish with a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs and red pepper flakes.
Pop the quiche back into the oven for about 40 minutes. You will start seeing the egg puff up. This is normal.
After about 40 minutes take the quiche out of the oven. The egg will be nicely puffed up and golden brown. As it cools, the egg with settle down. Allow the quiche to cool before serving.
Once cooled, use a sharp knife to trim of the excess pastry that is overhanging. We want to clean up the edges, the pastry should be nice and flaky.
To remove the quiche from the tin, place the quiche on a bowl turned upside down. The outside of the tin should just slide off.
This quiche can be served hot or cold and is great for lunches, picnics or even an afternoon snack.
See the printable recipe below.
For the flaky pastry
– 300g plain flour
– 1 tsp salt
– 230g butter
– 120ml cold water
For the filling
– 4 large eggs
– 115g milk
– 115g double cream
– 100g cheddar cheese
– 150g to 200g fillings of your choice e.g. vegetables, meats, seafoods etc.
– Salt and pepper (to taste)
– Extra cheese for topping
– Dried mixed herbs to garnish
For the flaky pastry
1. Mix the flour and and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the cold butter into the flour and use two forks to mix together until it resembles small lumps.
2. Slowly pour in the cold water and gently mix together with the forks.
3. Tip the flour onto a flat surface and quickly use hands to fold the dough together until flour is incorporated into the butter.
4. Roll the dough into a ball then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
5. Once the dough has chilled, take it out and unwrap it from the clingfilm. Place it on a lightly floured surface and use a large rolling pin to roll it into a large circle about 2mm in thickness.
6. Careully lift the pastry dough onto a greased loose bottomed quiche tin. Use fingers to gently push the dough into the edges of the quiche tin. Leave some of the dough to hang over the tin.
7. Use a fork to prick some holes into the base of the quiche tin. This is to allow steam to escape and prevent the pastry from puffing up.
8. Line the pastry with a piece of parchment paper, then fill the quiche tin with some baking beads.
9. Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 6 (200°C / 400°F) for about 20 minutes until the pastry starts to brown. After about 20 minutes, remove the baking beads and parchment and continue to bake the pastry for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
10. Once the pastry is lightly browned, remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
11. In a large jug, add the eggs, cream and milk. Season with salt and pepper and add the grated cheese.
12. Add your preferred filling to the milk and egg mixture. Mix well.
13. Pour the mixture into the blind baked pastry case.
14. Top the quiche with more cheese and a sprinkling of mixed herbs (you can use fresh herbs too).
15. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. The egg will puff up in the oven, this is normal, it will deflate as it cools.
16. After it has baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.
Hope you enjoyed making this recipe.
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~ The Cake Lady xx