When I first made quiche, back in the “70’s”, it was only ever something similar to quiche Lorraine. A bacon, cheese and onion tart with a posh name.
These days quiche appears regularly at our table but more often than not it’s a great way to use up bits and bobs in the fridge - although I do sometimes make one from planned ingredients. Quiche makes a great lunch, served with a leafy salad and a glass of something nicely chilled !!
Now I know it might seem extravagant to have so much smoked salmon as “leftovers” but in reality it was a small pack of smoked salmon slices that I bought for an evening when we were entertaining guests to dinner. Unfortunately on the day things went pear-shaped and we ran out of time. All efforts were concentrated on getting the important courses on the table so whatever I was planning to do with the smoked salmon was shelved and we had cheese footballs and olives as nibbles instead.
She always made her pastry with self-raising flour and lard and she never baked blind – she would have considered such a thing as a shameful waste of gas in the oven. Whenever I make something by instinct it’s always the way she taught me. Consequently this quiche was made with self-raising flour and the nearest thing I could find to lard or Cookeen in a French supermarket - a French solid vegetable fat called “Olma”. Also it was baked in a Pyrex dish, just like my mum would have done – she didn’t possess a fancy loose-bottomed tin – all her pies were baked in a Pyrex dish or plate.
Along with the small pack of smoked salmon slices, I used the best part of a bulb of fennel and some frozen spinach. In spite of the potential for a soggy bottom it was in fact nice and crisp, which shows that sometimes you can break the rules and get away with it !!
We had our quiche for lunch on a really hot day last week, served in the garden under an umbrella to keep us out of the intense heat of the midday sun. Only mad dogs and Englishmen……… It was delicious.
This month’s Alphabakes Challenge is to bake something with the letter “Q” in it. Judging by the number of options in the indexes of my cookbooks, I guess Caroline of Caroline Makes and Ros of the more than occasional baker will be getting a lot of quiches as entries this month !! My other options would have been something made with quince, something quick or Queen of puddings…..
For the pastry:
6ozs self raising flour
3ozs solid vegetable fat, Cookeen, Trex, or similar
water to mix
For the filling
100g smoked salmon, cut into strips
the best part of a bulb of fennel, trimmed and sliced
a few handfuls of fresh spinach, or a clump of frozen spinach
a good dollop of crème fraîche
1tblsp double cream
salt and pepper
oil or Flora Cuisine for frying
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan. Grease a 23cm dia. Pyrex flan or pie dish.
Make the pastry in your favoured way and roll out to line the dish.
Cook the spinach, drain and squeeze out most of the liquid. Spread over the pastry base.
Fry the fennel in oil or Flora Cuisine until soft, don’t allow it to brown. Distribute evenly over the top of the spinach in the dish.
Arrange the strips of smoked salmon over the fennel and spinach.
Break the eggs into a jug and add a good dollop of crème fraîche. Add a good splash of double cream, probably about a tablespoon, and enough milk to make up to 300ml. (The actual proportions of these does not seem to matter, so long as you make them up to 300ml including the eggs.) Beat together until well combined and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the filling and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling just about set.
Allow to cool slightly so that the filling settles back down before serving.