HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.
Now, I know that January should be all about abstinence, lettuce leaves and dusting off the gym membership card but I am a great believer in moderation. I don't know about you but if I decide that I'm cutting out something, chocolate or cheese for example, it just makes me want to eat it more. So my New Year's resolution is not to diet but just to eat when I'm hungry, have smaller portions and exercise more. That way nothing is forbidden, I don't obsess about having a slice of cake and I'm much happier and healthier.
That is my excuse for coming up with this 'delicious quiche'. Not my words but those of my daughter's boyfriend. Well, he has to say that doesn't he? Also he was very hungry after a hard morning on the golf course.
So, using up the last of the Christmas cheese, a gorgeous gruyere to be more precise, I've come up with this quiche recipe. Now I've said it feeds 6 - 8 but the two of them polished off most of it and I had to wrestle a slice from them so that my husband had something when he got home. Oh to have a metabolism that works so well!
Here goes. Apologies if you know all this stuff but if you haven't made a quiche before it may help. I always blind bake my pastry cases for quiches, no soggy bottoms here.
Whether you make your own shortcrust or buy it from the supermarket, chill the pastry after you have lined the tin it does help stop it shrinking. If it shrinks too much you have no sides to hold in the filling. It's happened to me more times than I care to remember.
Line the chilled, uncooked pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans, as you can see from the middle picture I don't have enough ceramic ones so have added any old dried beans and corn, you could use rice too. It may seem wasteful but store everything in the same jar and use it time and again. Be careful with the corn, it does pop sometimes. Put the tin, beans and all into the oven, bake for about 15 mins with the beans and 5-10 minutes without the beans. Once part baked, brush pastry with a little beaten egg to seal and pop back in the oven for about 5 mins. This should prevent a soggy bottom.
Now prepare the filling as per the recipe, don't overfill the pastry case. If the egg spills out between the pastry and the tin you will have problems getting the quiche out. Put it in the oven and bake.
It's a simple process but a little long winded. Don't be put off, it is really is worth the effort. If making pastry is not your thing then just buy it from a supermarket. Vary the flavours, if you haven't got red onions then use white, change the herbs, use cheddar instead of gruyere, add peppers, bacon, basically use whatever takes your fancy or what you have in the fridge. This is just a combination of flavours that we all love and suits the veggies and non veggies alike.
Hope you enjoy it.
Next time my gluten free raspberry, almond and vanilla swiss roll.
Caramelised Red Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche
Active time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours
Serves: 6 – 8 people
For the shortcrust pastry:
200g Plain flour
50g Vegetable shortening eg Trex (use all butter if you prefer)
1 tsp Salt
For the Filling:
2 large Red Onions - finely chopped
Knob of butter
1 tbs Olive oil
200g Chestnut mushrooms - diced
1 tsp Dried Thyme
3 Garlic cloves – crushed
3tbs Balsalmic vinegar
5 Large eggs - beaten
350ml Full-fat Milk
150g Gruyere cheese – finely grated
Salt and Pepper
24cm loose bottomed flan tin, baking beans baking tray
Pre-heat oven to 180C FAN
To make the pastry:
Mix together flour and salt, rub in butter and shortening until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can do this in the food processor, I do, it saves time.
Add cold water a little at a time until mixture begins to come together. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Melt large knob of butter with the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onions until soft and caramelised, this will probably take 20 - 30 minutes or so, don’t rush it you want all the lovely sweetness of the onions to come out.
Add the mushrooms and gently fry until just turning a little brown at the edges.
Add thyme and crushed garlic, stir well and cook for a minute.
Add the balsalmic vinegar and turn up the heat a little until most of the vinegar has bubbled away.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Make your pastry case:
Grease the flan tin
On lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry until it is about 5cm larger than your flan tin. Line the tin, trimming off the excess pastry but don’t cut it too short just in case your pastry shrinks. This is a rustic tart it doesn’t need to be incredibly neat.
Prick the base all over with a fork and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
You need to blind bake the pastry case. Line the tin with some baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for approx. 5 – 10 minutes until the base is golden.
Brush a little of the beaten egg over the inside of the cooked pastry case and return to the oven for 5 minutes. This will form a seal and stop the pastry being soggy and the filling leaking out through and small holes.
Reduce oven temperature to 150C Fan
Assemble the quiche:
Place the onion and mushroom mixture evenly in the baked pastry case
Add the grated gruyere cheese and gently mix together, you don’t have to be too thorough just combine a little. Sprinkle on some smoked paprika or, if you want a little heat, some cayenne
Place tin on baking tray. I like to do this just in case some of the filling leaks out, it’s easier to clean the tray than the oven.
Mix together beaten egg and milk, season well and pour the egg mixture into the pastry case. Do not over fill as you don’t want the mixture to lap over the edge of the pastry as it makes it difficult to get out of the tin.
Place the quiche in the preheated oven and bake for approx. 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown. If it is still wobbly leave it for another five minutes but keep an eye on it.
Remove from the oven. Leave in the tin to cool slightly and firm up.
Serve warm or cold with a mixed salad.