Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Mushroom Tomato and Feta Quiche

I simply love a quiche. It speaks to me of summer meals. A baked potato and salad are just perfect with it. Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake.
The original ‘quiche Lorraine’ was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.

I have long looked for what to me is the perfect quiche or, savoury tart, and in this recipe I think I have found it. I used Angela Nilsen's The Ultimate Recipe Book for some tips and tricks. For instance milk should not be used in the custard as it makes it heavy. A mix of cream and and creme fraiche or sour cream gives it a wonderful silky softness. Grated cheese should not be incorporated into the custard as it makes it heavy and dense. Cubes or thin slices of cheese are the thing to use. A little grated parmesan or cheddar on the top while baking will turn it golden brown without over cooking the custard.
I have tried various mixes for the pastries but have found the plain half fat to flour basic shortcrust mix does just as well if not better than the richer varieties. It is easier to crisp up.

This recipe will make a 23cm/9inch quiche and give you about 8 slices.

Plain Shortcrust Pastry

225 gms/8oz flour
100gms/4oz butter very cold cut into cubes
Iced water to bind


Rich Shortcrust pastry

250gm/9oz flour
145gm /-5oz butter very cold cut into cubes
1 egg + 80ml v cold water


Filling

5-6 largeish mushrooms chopped (more if you like)
100gms/4 oz Feta Cheese chopped
6-8 sun dried tomatoes chopped

200mls double cream
200mls sour cream/creme fraiche
3 eggs well beaten
Grating of nutmeg
Good grind black pepper
1 Tblsp Tarragon vinegar
A little butter
Handful of grated parmesan


Pastry

Blend flour and butter to crumbs in processor
Add 1 egg(if using) + 80ml v cold water and pulse until dough forms into a ball.
Roll out to fit the tin, leave a little extra depth above the edge of the quiche pan to allow for shrinkage.
Prick the bottom with a fork, then chill the tart case in the freezer.

Heat Oven to 200.C/Fan180.C/Gas 6 and slip a baking sheet in

After about 30 minutes, cover the pastry in a layer of greaseproof paper or foil and put either baking stones, or dried beans on the top to keep the pastry down.
Bake in the oven on the baking sheet for 15 minutes or so.
Remove the beans and paper an pop the tart case back in the oven for 4-5mins

Filling

Prepare while tart case is baking

Melt the butter in a pan add the mushrooms and tarragon vinegar and allow to just cook. Remove from heat and set aside
Beat the sour cream/creme fraiche and cream together and beat in the eggs adding a good grind of pepper and grated nutmeg.
Place the mushrooms chopped feta cheese and tomatoes in the base of the tart case
Pull the oven shelf out a wee bit and place the tart back on the baking sheet. (This method makes it easier to fill the case)
Gently pour the egg mix into the case until full to the top.
Scatter Parmesan over the surface.

Lower oven temp to 190.C/Fan170.C/Gas5
Bake for about 25 mins or until golden and softly set. The centre should not feel too firm
Allow to settle for 5 mins before removing from the tin.


I do find the semi-dried tomatoes that I make myself work really well in this but shop bought sun dried tomatoes will do. If you use fresh tomatoes remove some of the seeds and core






12 comments:

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Looks wonderful Brenda, a real summer delight :)

xxx

Gloria said...

Really delight quiche, I love so! Gloria

Maria said...

Brenda I love quiche, it is the perfect summer food alongside a salad.

Delish!!

Maria
x

Anonymous said...

Wow - that looks so yummy. I absolutely love quiche anytime of the year.
AnnaBanana Xxx.

Rosie said...

Hi Brenda what a gorgeous quiche just perfect for the warmer weather we are having, but I can eat it anytime :)

Rosie x

Kevin said...

That sounds so tasty!

Elle said...

Quiche with feta makes me a happy girl. That looks amazing!

mimi said...

lovely quiche, looks very moist! great little write-up about the history too.

Psychgrad said...

The quiche looks delicious. Thanks for the quick quiche history lesson. I had no idea it was originally German.

Do you think yogurt instead of sour cream would work? I haven't heard of tarragon vinegar before - interesting.

Rhyleysgranny said...

Thank you all for dropping into my little Blog and leaving a comment. It's nice to see you here.
:) xxx
Psychgrad I am not sure yoghurt would work. If you have difficulty getting sour cream or creme fraiche you could sour double cream with lemon juice :)

Kelly-Jane said...

I'll have to try this one, it just sounds and looks really good!

Vicky (victoria sponge) said...

That is a very handsome quiche. I love the combination of flavours.
Vicky xxx