Goat's cheese and herb quiche


  • Serves 6 - 8 people

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • ½ cup thinly sliced sorrel
  • ½ cup thinly sliced flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 8 small sage leaves, torn into tiny pieces
  • 4 thyme springs, leaves only, lightly chopped
  • 2 handfuls English spinach leaves, blanched, excess water squeezed out, finely chopped
  • 700 ml pouring cream (35% fat content)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • 5 eggs (65 gm each)
  • 120 gm mature goat's cheese, rind removed, sliced or broken into small pieces
  • 240 gm plain flour
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 180 gm cold unsalted butter, diced into 1.5 cm cubes
01   For shortcrust pastry, sift flour and salt onto a work surface, scatter butter over and toss with a pastry scraper or cook’s knife. Sprinkle with the 60ml ice-cold water and toss again.
02   Gather the mass close to you and, using the heel of your hand, smear the ingredients away from you in a quick, smooth sliding action. Gather the emerging dough back to the starting point and repeat. Don’t be concerned when streaks of butter appear on the surface of the dough; this shows it hasn’t been overworked. Lightly knead it into a flattened disc, wrap in two layers of greaseproof paper and refrigerate to rest until firm but not hard (20-30 minutes; it should be a tiny bit soft when pressed with your fingertip).
03   Preheat oven to 190C. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface, flouring the pastry and the rolling pin, too, to about 37cm in diameter, lifting and dusting under the pastry as you go to prevent it sticking. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush, roll pastry over the pin and unroll it over a 3.5cm-deep, 28cm-diameter loose-based fluted tart tin. Carefully loosen the pastry so it sits inside the tin. If there seems to be too much pastry, trim a little off, then fold excess pastry in and over, so it sits just above the top of the tart tin. Use flour-dusted knuckles to press the pastry into the side of the tin to form a thin, compacted wall all the way around that extends above the edge of the tin by about 5mm. Dust out any flour with a pastry brush, prick all over the base with a fork, line with foil and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
04   Fill case with pastry weights and bake until wall appears set (10-12 minutes), then remove foil and weights and bake until base looks set (5-7 minutes). Reduce oven to 170C and bake until crust is very dry and slightly caramelised (10-12 minutes). The pastry case may be made a few hours in advance; reheat it in a 150C oven for 5-7 minutes before adding the filling.
05   Increase oven to 180C. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion and sauté until softened (4-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook briefly until fragrant.
06   Stir in herbs (except bay leaves) and spinach. Bring cream, bay leaves and nutmeg to a simmer in a separate saucepan over medium heat and season generously to taste. Add herb mixture and simmer to develop flavour (1-2 minutes).
07   Whisk eggs well in a large bowl, then add cream mixture, whisk to combine and check seasoning. Scatter base of pastry case with goat’s cheese.
08   Carefully pour egg mixture into tart case, avoiding spillage over the side. (I place the tin on the oven shelf to do this, but it can be done on the bench.) Carefully slide into the oven, bake for 9 minutes, then reduce oven to 160C and bake until just set when tested with the tip of a paring knife; the centre should be firm without wobbling when you shake the quiche (18-20 minutes). Let it stand for 10 minutes, then slice with a serrated knife and serve with a leaf salad.










May 2016

May 2016

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