Tuesday, June 1, 2010

That's what I call a quiche

After experiencing the weirdly cakey result of last week's attempt at 'quick quiche', I was curious to see what the basic quiche recipe (p94) would produce. It occurred to me last night that I should try it, since I still had some leftover bacon.

The remainder of the bacon had been sitting partially frozen at the bottom of my 'temperature-challenged' fridge since last week. It was looking a bit borderline: I had to either throw it out or use it. In the end I decided to tempt fate and went ahead with my plans for the quiche. Don't try this at home, boys and girls!

First I had to make some pastry. The recipe specified short pastry, and I decided to have a go at the food processor pastry (p80), which is a variation on the basic short pastry recipe. You have to have the butter and water very cold - the water wasn't a problem, since I had some in the fridge, but I had to grab the butter out of the butter conditioner and bung it in the freezer for a while to cool down.

I got tired of waiting about 15 minutes later. The butter wasn't really very cold, but I used it anyway. The pastry was pretty easy - just pulse butter and flour in the food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs, then gradually add water, and keep pulsing until it clumps up. It looked a bit lumpy and weird at first, but it became quite workable after a slight kneading. I stuck it in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes, while I did a bit of kitchen tidy-up.

I had to make the filling, so I figured I'd do that, and leave the pastry to chill for a bit longer. I was busy cooking up the bacon and onion when I glanced up at the recipe, and realised that the pastry actually had to be baked blind before the filling went in, so I was being a bit premature with my filling preparation.

I turned the frying pan down to low, and grabbed my pastry to roll it out. I'd been steadily rolling for some time when it occurred to me there was quite a lot of pastry for one quiche - I already had it wide enough to go over the dish, but it was still well over 1cm thick! I checked the quiche recipe: 200g pastry. I checked the pastry recipe: "makes 375g". D'oh.

I cut a chunk off my pastry and weighed what was left: still over 400g. What? How did I manage to make considerably more than 400g of pastry from a recipe that supposedly only makes 375g? Shrug, cut some more off. In the end I put more than half the pastry back in the fridge. Rolling out the rest was considerably easier than working with the full amount of pastry, so in a way, it was quite good that I had to cut some off.

Soon I had the pastry rolled out and lined my dish. I had just enough haricot beans to use as blind and fill the dish - or so I thought. When the pastry came out of the oven, it had risen underneath the blind, so I don't think there was enough weight on it.

While the pastry was blind-baking, I turned back to the filling. With the pastry issues I'd been having, I'd had to take the frying pan right off the heat. I put it back on to heat my bacon and onions up again. When they were hot, I added some flour, which was supposed to cook "until frothy". Well, I expect it was supposed to combine with the melted butter in the bottom of the pan, except with my extended cooking/cooling/reheating of the bacon and onions there really wasn't any. So the flour kind of just clumped around the onions. Oh well.

I added the milk gradually, stirring until it thickened up. Then the pan came off the heat, and just as the base was ready, I stirred through the eggs and cheese. I poured the filling into the base, and it all went into the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

I was pottering around the kitchen, cleaning up, when I realised I'd put an oven mitt down on a hot element (again), this time achieving an interesting spiral design as conrast to the stripes, and wafting a delicate aroma of burnt oven glove throughout the kitchen. Luckily I have an extractor fan above the stove, so the smell didn't linger for long!

After 20 minutes the top was looking pretty brown. I didn't think the filling was cooked yet, though, so I left it in for nearly the full half hour. I did end up taking it out a little early, since the top was really starting to look overdone.

Despite that, it was pretty tasty. The pastry was nicely buttery and almost flaky around the edges, though slightly soggy on the bottom. I suspect it could have done with a bit more blind baking. The filling was yummy too - you can't go past egg, bacon and cheese! I had a piece cold in my lunch today, and it was even better than straight out of the oven.

It's perhaps not the most wonderful quiche the world has ever seen, but it's quite tasty, and would be a good basis for experimentation. I'd like to try it using a smaller dish, making the quiche a bit deeper. And there's any number of things that could be added to the filling. But the thing I like the most about this recipe - it's definitely a quiche, not a cake.


  1. Looks yummy actually, must keep that one in mind but not being glutenfree...If the pastry is good would be ok for a sweet tart too I guess.

  2. I like your cooking methods! I used to make my own pastry but I went to my specialty store called Pak'n'Save and found this wonderful pastry called 'Edmonds ready rolled' and how could I resist? I don't own a processor so it kind of decided for me. I don't have blind baking tools either and I'm too cheap to use beans or rice for it so I just hope and pray my pastry hasn't fallen over and doesn't look like layers of pale crusty blanket type things (which sadly is always the case). I will be using your recipe for mini quiches though, yumm!

  3. Hmm.. I think I've heard of this specialty store "Pak'n'Save" you mention. I must have a look there some time ;)

  4. Mention of the Quick Quiche reminds me of the old joke:

    One morning, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush were having brunch at a restaurant. The attractive waitress asks Cheney what he would like and he replies, "I'll have a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit."

    "And what may I get for you, sir?" she asks George W.

    He replies, "How about a quickie?"
    "Why, Mr. President," the waitress says. "How rude! You're starting to act like Mr. Clinton and you haven't even been in office a full term yet."

    As the waitress storms away, Cheney leans over to Bush and whispers, "It's pronounced 'quiche'."


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