Real men don’t eat quiche. All right. Fine by me. I am a quiche-eater, guilty as charged. Not a real man, according to Bruce Feirstein, but I know how to make the finest and most rewarding quiche (and enjoy eating it).
A quiche is quick to make, and always scores with the womenfolk. What are you waiting for?
Take one roll of deep-frozen rolled-out shortcrust pastry, available in most shops. Your own base will be lighter, crumplier, better in short:
Put 200g white wheat flour, 100g soft salted butter and one medium sized egg into a bowl and whisk (using an electric hand mixer or blender) until you have even crumbles, then keep whisking while you add one or two tablespoons of cold water. This transforms the crumble into a homogenous lump.
Spread baking parchment onto your worktop. Put the very sticky dough on top and use your fingers to spread it out approximately to the size of your baking dish. Cover with another layer of baking parchment, then finish the job with the rolling pin. Try for an even 3mm thickness.
The baking parchment trick makes handling of the very sticky base a lot easier, and saves time.
Line a backing dish with your base, using a baking parchment as a carrier. I use a 280mm diameter round baking dish, about 25mm deep.
Start the oven to 200C. Prefer top and bottom heat over circulated heat. Weigh the base down wiht pie weights or dried chickpeas. Pre-bake for about 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
Smoked Salmon Quiche
300g smoked salmon, cut in finger sized strips, 150g roasted artichokes or peppers (or both), a small bunch of dill. Just toss everything into the dish in a seemingly random distribution.
Cut two leeks into 10mm strips. Wash and rinse thoroughly. Fry up 250g of good quality dry-cure bacon or lardons. When done, add the leak, toss around for 30s, then spread the whole lot into the baking dish.
A million of varieties are up for your to make. Mushrooms, spinach and bacon always hits the spot, for example.
… base recipe continued:
Now take 200ml double cream and 100ml milk. Add three free-range eggs (four if tiny), a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and 1/3 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Half a teaspoon of stock granulates or a small teaspoon of mustard if you like it very savoury, a pinch of saffron otherwise. Allspice to taste. Mix well, and pour over the filling. Optionally, sprinkle one finely chopped fresh red chilli pepper over the top (a nice kick with the smoked salmon quiche).
Shake the baking tray gently to let trapped air escape, and pop into the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Start to watch it after 25 minutes; it might need taking out sooner if it darkens too quickly.
Take out when done. Let cool down for 20 minutes, then remove quiche from tray (just lift it out by the baking parchment), then let cool down on a rack.
Transfer onto serving plate, cut into generous pieces, serve with a green salad and a crispy white wine. Scores every time.