This quiche, for my sins, will always be known in our house as ‘on the floor quiche’. My first ever attempt at making a quiche – this recipe – was one week ago when, on completion, I took it outside to photograph it in the gorgeous dappled sunlight, and promptly dropped it all over patio floor! Bad language and wine ensued. Anyway, one week later, I tried again and this time successfully!
Why the reluctance until now to even give it a go? When I was growing up, quiche got really bad PR. I have no idea where the expression, “real men don’t each quiche” came from but it’s always been in the back of my mind. I also had a clear (but totally inaccurate) perception that quiche was bland, heavy, boring and frankly, tasteless, so why would I want to make that?! Turns out, that concept couldn’t be further from the truth. This quiche is light, the pastry is crisp and the filling is nothing short of delightful. I would definitely urge you to throw away any preconceptions you have on the quiche front and give this one a go!
What you need…
1 x 30 x 20cm rectangular tart tin or 1 x 25cm flan tin, either way, spring-form and lightly buttered with bottom lined with Bake O Glide or parchment paper.
1 x large baking sheet
for the pastry
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt
100g chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk, beaten
3 tablespoons ice-cold water
for the filling
A little rapeseed oil
3 salmon fillets
Juice of ½ a lemon
A good knob of butter
1 medium onion, finely sliced
200g new potatoes, cut into small cubes and parboiled
50g watercress, leaves picked and tough stalks discarded
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
3 medium eggs, whisked
300ml double cream
Sea salt and black pepper
What to do…
Tip the flour, salt and butter into your food processor (fitted with the plastic blender) and whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Tip out onto cling film, wrap it up and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Whilst your pastry is resting you can prepare the salmon and onions. Preheat your oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6 and pop in a baking sheet to warm up.
Grease a large piece of foil using the oil and place your salmon in the middle. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and scrunch the foil together to seal. Pop your salmon parcel onto the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat, add the onion and cook to soften for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Returning to your pastry: on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 3mm thick and line your tin with it. Trim off the rough edges, prick the base with a fork and pop back in the fridge for another 30 minutes (this will prevent shrinkage during the cooking process).
Take your pastry case out of the fridge, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Pop it onto your hot baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return the case to the oven for a further 5 minutes – this will allow the pastry to dry out and prevent a soggy bottom!
Reduce the oven to 180°c / 350°f/ gas 4 and now it’s assembly time.
In a large jug, whisk together the cream and eggs. Season with salt and pepper and add the watercress and dill. Set aside for a mo.
In your pastry case, arrange onions so that they are evenly spread and top with the salmon and potatoes. Pour over the cream and egg mixture and pop into the oven on your hot baking sheet for 30 minutes or until the filling is just set and the top is turning golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve immediately, when it’s room temperature or cold – whichever is your preference – it’s just lovely! Great for a picnic or light lunch with salad.
Camilla Stephens, Higgidy
Very easy, very relaxing. Just don’t drop it!