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Asparagus and Leek Quiche

This was our first time making a quiche and we were pleased with the result – definitely one to make again. With a rich and creamy asparagus and leek filling, this makes an excellent meal served with a side salad!

Ingredients:

For the pastry:
250 grams plain flour
145 grams cold unsalted butter cut into cubes
Two egg yolks mixed with 2-3 tablespoons of cold water
Pinch of salt
1 – 2 teaspoons of dried herbs of choice (optional – we used thyme and chilli flakes)

For the filling:
1 large leek, chopped
400g asparagus tips, chopped into 3cm pieces, with 8 retained for decoration
4 eggs
300ml double cream (you can make this half milk half cream if you want)
100 grams Gruyere cheese, grated
Salt, pepper, chilli flakes for seasoning

Method:

Make the pastry and chill it:

  1. Put the flour and butter cubes with a pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until you get a breadcrumb texture.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and the herbs, mix then add 2-3 table spoons of the egg/water mixture and quickly cut through the mixture with the knife while shaking the bowl to incorporate. Test with your hand if the mix comes together when you scrunch it with your hand, if not, add more liquid until it does.
  3. Turn out onto a work surface and combine to form dough (shouldn’t take more than 10 seconds of ‘bringing together’). You don’t want to kneed it like bread to create gluten as you want it to be short.
  4. Shape into a round slab around an inch thick, wrap in cling film, and place in fridge (to harden – for 30-45 minutes).

Blind bake the tart case:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees / gas 6.
  2. Roll the pastry out so it is large enough to cover a 23cm tart tin. It should be the thickness of a pound coin.
  3. Line the tin with the pastry. I like to leave some hanging over the edge and trim it with a sharp knife post bake for a neater finish. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This is important as if it isn’t cold, it will shrink when baking. You can also freeze it at this stage if not baking for a while.
  4. Prick the pastry with a fork to minimize rise (if not frozen).
  5. Blind bake by using parchment paper, or grease proof paper to line the tin and fold over edges to protect, and fill with rice or baking beans.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. It should look around half cooked, still pale on the base, with maybe some browning on the sides. Remove the parchment and baking beans and bake for another 5 or so minutes after brushing with an egg yolk to seal. Leave to cool.

Make the filling and bake:

  1. Saute the leeks in a pan over a medium heat and some olive oil (around 1 – 2 table spoons). After around 5 minutes, add the asparagus and saute until both are cooked. The asparagus should still have some bite, whereas the leeks will be fully cooked. Season to taste. Leave to cool in a bowl.
  2. In the same pan, which should have some oil in it already, saute the whole asparagus tips for around 2-3 minutes.
  3. Whisk the cream, eggs and around 85 grams of the cheese. Add the leek and asparagus mixture to this once it has cooled.
  4. Now either strain out  the cream and egg, or use a straining spoon to put the leek and asparagus mixture into the tart case. You should be able to fill up 1/2 to 1/3 of the tart case. Now pour in the cream / egg mix until the case is pretty much as full as you can get it without spilling. I normally do this when already placed in the oven so it doesn’t need carrying over after.
  5. Top with the remaining cheese and the whole asparagus tips. Add some pepper and chilli flakes too if you wish.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for around 25-35 minutes. It may take longer. You should be aiming for the top to brown, and rise, but not too much. The middle should have a slight wobble but should not look raw. Leave to stand before 5 minutes before serving.

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