February 13, 2011


I got up this morning to a really miserable, grey, blustery, dismal February day.  We got up late, too late for breakfast so decided on brunch.  I looked in the fridge and thought that the only satisfactory thing to do was to bake a quiche.  A bit of a rummage in the fridge pushed me towards



I found a couple of packs of asparagus and half a pack of smoked salmon trimmings.  (The other half had been enjoyed with scrambled egg on oatcakes  the other day. )

I had a look in one or two of my recipe books and came up with a formula that derived from them, using the recipes as a guide to fit in what what I had to hand.  All the recipes suggested I needed cream so I dashed down to the local farm shop to get some.

I made 8oz shortcrust pastry, blind baked it, added the smoked salmon and lightly cooked asparagus, sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top then poured the egg mixture on top of that before baking.

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The result :  scrumptious.  Here is what I did.


For the pastry

80z plain flour

40z margarine (or butter)

1-2 tblsp water to combine

For the filling

3 eggs, lightly beaten

300g asparagus

60g (approx half a pack) of smoked salmon trimmings

150 ml double cream

1-2 tblsp milk

1 tblsp grated parmesan cheese

salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Grease a medium flan dish.

Make the pasty as usual and roll out to fit the flan dish.  Prick the pastry with a fork, line with baking paper and fill with baking beans.  Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Bake the pastry blind for 15-20 minutes until beginning to brown.  Remove the paper and baking beans and brush with a little of the beaten egg.  Bake again for 5 minutes to crisp the base.  Reduce the oven temp to 180°C.

Trim the asparagus using Jamie Oliver’s method:  hold one end of a piece of asparagus in each hand and bend it.  Where the stalk snaps in two is where the woody part ends and the tender part begins.  Trim all the stalks in this way or cut them using the first one as a guide.  I found it just as quick to bend and snap each stalk.  Discard the woody ends.  (And I have good intentions for using the discarded bits in a soup later.)

Cook the asparagus in boiling water for about 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water.

Arrange the smoked salmon trimmings and asparagus on the pastry base as in the picture.  Sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Whisk the eggs, cream and milk together.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour over the asparagus.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until risen up and golden.  serve warm.

Makes 4 portions.

Cook’s note:  apologies for the mixture of imperial and metric measurements.  I learned to make pastry in lbs and ozs from my mother so still do.  Recipes are usually in kilos and grams so I switch between both.  C’est la vie.

In the true spirit of thrift and economy I made half a dozen mince pies for my dad with the pastry trimmings.


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