Thursday, November 23, 2017

What’s on the MENU this week: Asparagus Quiche

Lynne made this to take with us on our break in De Kelders with vegetarian friends and it was very well received. The rich cheese pastry is a doddle to make in a food processor. We used very large asparagus spears and didn't cut them up. You might wish to. We also put them in raw; you could steam them for a minute or two or even use a large tin of asparagus if you want to make this out of season. It does make a very large quiche. Be careful with your pastry when you line your tin, so there are no cracks or leaks (it has happened to Lynne.)  As a precaution, wrap it in aluminium foil. Or just use a large ceramic quiche dish
Pastry: 140g plain flour - 85g cold butter, cubed - 85g good mature cheddar cheese - (optional) 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - ice water
For the filling: 6 eggs - 225 ml cream - salt and white pepper to season - 100g cheddar - 300g fresh asparagus spears, washed and dried
Put the flour in a bowl, add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the grated cheddar and cayenne and mix. You can do this quickly in a food processor. Add 3 tbsp cold water and mix until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 10 minutes while you prepare the asparagus.
Snap the hard bottoms off the asparagus spears - you can freeze the bottom pieces to make asparagus soup later
Heat oven to 160ºC. Butter a 20cm x 5cm deep loose-bottomed tart tin, or a 35 x 12cm rectangular tart tin. Dusting your surface with some flour, carefully roll out the pastry and line the tin. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes, then blind bake the pastry case, first lining with baking paper, and filling with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, and return the pastry case to the oven for more 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
In a jug, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the cream. Season. Sprinkle half the grated cheese over the pastry case, then add the asparagus and egg mix. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese (if using a rectangular tin, you may not need all the mixture, so add it gradually). Bake in the lower half of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until it is just set. We had this with a butternut, beetroot and creamed goats cheese salad and a bottle of Vondeling Chenin blanc
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