Monday, July 12, 2010
Eggs and a brocolli quiche
We've had a few chickens now for a month or two and my son just loves to go fetch the eggs each day. But for the last week or so, the nests were empty each day. We blamed the monkeys and the weather. However, today E came into the office with this huge smile, holding a bucket with sixteen eggs. It turns out, the hens did not like us pinching their eggs and decided to go and hide them amongst some plants in the garden.
So, if life hands you eggs, you have to bake a quiche.
The brocolli and peas are also abundant in the vegetable garden at the moment. I do not even bother to cook the veg before adding it to the custard when they are freshly picked. Just a quick rinse and a trim. And for the pastry, I always use Nigella's 'basic' recipe from her How to Eat recipe book. It is simple, very easy to roll and handle but very flaky and light. Perfection.... I can never wait for it to cool and have to taste a steaming slice straight out of the oven.
For the short crust pastry:
Adapted from Nigella's How to Eat (http://www.nigella.com/product/default.aspx)
60g butter, cold and cut into small squares
120g plain flour
yolk of one egg
about two table spoons of ice water
teaspoon of lemon juice
Combine the butter and flour and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
In a food processor pulse the butter and flour until you have a bread crumb texture. Mix the egg with some of the water and the lemon juice and pour through the funnel. You may need to add a a few drops of water, but do so carefully. Mix until the dough just starts to come together. Place on a floured surface and gently press to form a flat disc. Wrap in cling film and let rest in the fridge for another 20 minutes.
Once rested, gently roll out on a lightly floured surface and blind bake for 10 minutes at 180°C. Remove the beans and bake for another 5 minutes.
For the custard:
1 tablespoon thick cream
brie or feta cheese, cubed
sprig or two thyme or marjoram
2 florets brocolli
½ cup peas (fresh or frozen)
Combine the eggs, buttermilk and cream and whisk until just combined (I prefer to use a fork). Add the cheese, herbs, and vegetables. Season to taste and then pour into the tart shell. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until just set. Remove and cool slightly.