Looking back at my last post I cannot believe time has flown so quickly… what has happened to July?! I think the answer may partly be that due to the exceptional amount of rainfall it has yet to seem much like a summer month and perhaps my brain has been tricked into thinking that it’s actually April. It could also be because I have had a busy month working on the raspberry farm, baking and cycling around the French countryside eating my body weight in croissants. Yum:)
Yesterday I harvested the first of the courgettes which have appreciated the rain and grown fast and fat. They are perfect to use in this summer quiche, alongside whatever other vegetables you have in your garden/fridge. I used leeks, mushrooms and tomatoes but as long as you pre-cook the veg first I’d say anything goes – try and keep it as local and seasonal as possible.
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
a big lump of strong cheese
For the filling:
1 large leek
a handful of mushrooms
4 free-range eggs
300ml milk (or milk/cream combo if you like)
1. Cut the butter into small lumps and put in a bowl. Sift in the flour and rub it together using your fingertips until it has the texture of breadcrumbs. Try to do this as quickly and lightly as possible so the butter doesn’t melt too much. Grate in the cheese, using as much or as little as you like.
2. Add a splash of cold water and bring the pastry together into a ball. Use as little water as possible – it’s very easy to make it too soggy! Then wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. When big enough, use the rolling pin to lift the pastry onto a 25cm diameter dish and (gently!) press it into the sides. Don’t worry about any bits hanging over the edge, leave them as they are for the moment!
4. Refrigerate again for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Remove the dish from the fridge and place it on a baking tray. Lightly prick the base with a fork. Then carefully put a large piece of foil over the pastry and fill with baking beans (or old kidney beans in my case!) Bake for 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile chop and lightly cook the leeks, courgettes and mushrooms in a little olive oil. Slice the tomato.
6. Remove the foil and beans from the pastry and return it to the oven for a few minutes to dry out any sogginess. Then remove from the oven and fill with the vegetables, laying the tomato slices over the top last.
7. Mix together the milk and eggs and season with salt and pepper. Pour this over the vegetables, making sure everything gets a coating of the mixture (even if it’s not completely covered.) Trim off any excess pastry hanging over the edges and nibble on it whilst you wait for the quiche to cook.
8. Lower the temperature to 180°C and return the quiche to the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the filling is set. Allow to cool a little before serving, or eat cold. Bon appetit!
Love from Agnes Pavlova xxx