University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cheese, tomato and herb quiche

I absolutely love quiche but have never attempted to make one before because whenever I look at recipes they always seem to use so many eggs and so much cream! I also love making (and eating..) shortcrust pastry but was always afraid that turning it into a quiche would leave it with a soggy bottom. Well, today I proved my assumptions to be very wrong! I looked over a few recipes and decided to use all milk instead of cream, with a bit of light soft cheese, and only one egg. I used fresh tomatoes, lots of herbs and some cheddar and parmesan, and the flavours were amazing. The texture was absolutely perfect as well - no soggy bottom, but crisp pastry instead, hoorah! I made this for Father's day as we decided to have a buffet. This quiche is perfect party food for buffets, makes a great lunch, or even dinner - serve with a side salad and some new potatoes in parsley butter for a delicious, summer meal (suitable for vegetarians!) I can't wait to create more quiche recipes, maybe bacon and leek, and next time I make this tomato one, I want to try putting broccoli in it too (I've had one like this from Sainsbury's and it is scrummy). If you are to try out one recipe this summer, I think it should be this one! Pastry isn't as tricky as you might think to get right, just follow the steps below.
Makes 1 large quiche (4-8 people)
For the pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 40g lard
- 40g margarine
- 1 tsp thyme, chopped (I used dried)
- 2-3 tbsp water

For the filling:
- small knob of butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 350g tomatoes, sliced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- handful of parsley, chopped (I used fresh)
- 1 tsp thyme (dried)
- 1 tsp basil (dried)
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 250ml milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp light soft cheese
- handful of parmesan, grated
- handful of cheddar, grated

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees. For the filling, gently fry the onion in the butter for a few minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes, herbs and salt and pepper and stir.
2. Add the boiling water and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened. Leave to cool.
3. Whilst this is cooling, start on the pastry. Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the margarine and lard.
4. Rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips 'from a height' (oo jamie oliver style...) until it resembles breadcrumbs. You can add in the thyme at this stage or the previous stage.
5. Add the water and knead gently into a soft dough. On a floured work-surface, roll out the dough until large enough to fit into a flan dish or metal case. Push down into the case, pressing into the sides.
6. To finish the filling, whisk together the milk, egg, soft cheese, parmesan and chessar until combined. Stir into the tomato and onion mixture and gently pour into the pastry case until filled to the top. Grate some more cheddar on top. I found that I had too much filling for the case, maybe because my case was too small. I put the remaining filling into little ramekin dishes and baked in the oven with the quiche so that it could be eaten anyway and not wasted.
7. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the filling has set and is golden brown. 
Enjoy :)

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