“Maybe cooking at 4am wasn’t a good idea”
With Easter soon to come, I’ve started a small segment with an emphasis on eggs. This first recipe is a salmon and asparagus quiche.
I first tried the recipe the same morning I returned from Smithfield market, when my sleep pattern was a bit of a mess – I decided to make a quiche having had no sleep. A poor decision on my part, as my lack of concentration led to my pastry case having a sizeable hole. A hole that led to much of the filling dripping onto the base of my oven. However, now with a practice attempt and a bit of sleep under my belt, I now have a recipe to write about and I hope you enjoy.
With the majority of the filling being cream and eggs, quiche allows more expensive ingredients such as salmon to go much further. A single fillet, which would normally serve one, suddenly stretches to six.
Making shortcrust pastry may seem difficult, but its only three basic ingredients (plus a splash of water) that need to be brought together. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or else the end result will be a tough crust.
One thing that must not be forgotten is to rest your dough, or else you may find that it shrinks when you attempt to shape it.
Blind baking allows you to firm up the base before the liquid filling goes in, avoiding a soggy bottom. I don’t have any baking beans in London so I used rice instead, but any weight that will prevent the base from rising will do. Just remember to prick the base to allow air to escape.
With the pastry resting you can get started on the filling, which I kept rather simple. I used only double cream but if the texture is not to your liking you can use single cream, milk, crème fraîche or a combination. To complement the salmon, I added the classic combination of dill and lemon to the filling.
To fill the quiche, place the solid items into the pastry case first and then pour in the liquid. A tip for pouring is to do it once the case is in the oven, so you don’t need to worry about spilling.
- 85 g butter -£0.40
- 190g flour -£0.09
- 5g salt
- 1 large egg -£0.21
- 1 tbsp water
- 80g asparagus -£0.58
- 3 large eggs -£0.63
- 250ml cream -£0.79
- 1tbsp chopped dill -£0.05
- 1 lemon -£0.30
- 200g salmon – diced -£2.78
Total cost for 6 servings ~ 5.83 (£0.97 per serving)
Make the pastry
- Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Rub the butter gently into the flour with your fingertips
- Add the tbsp water and whole egg. Bring the ingredients together taking care not to overwork the paste. Adjust with additional flour and water if necessary.
- Roll into a ball and cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make the filling
- Boil the asparagus for 5 mins, rinse in cold water and leave to dry on kitchen towel.
- Whisk together the eggs and cream. Add the dill and lemon zest. Season and combine.
Blind bake the pastry
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a 20cm loose-bottom flan tin.
- Prick the bottom of the dish. Cover with baking paper and add a weight (such as baking beans).
- Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the weight and baking paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the base has lightly browned. Trim the edges.
- Place the asparagus on the base of the pastry case and then flake the salmon on to it.
- Bring it to the oven and then pour the filling inside.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes until just set.