I believe it was Jaime (private school girl) who once said…quiche! I recently developed, through a cooking friend of mine, a real interest in custards and the links between them. Crème brûlée or crème caramel, cheesecake or ice cream – what a fantastic, simple, versatile thing. And to think, it’s nothing more than dairy thickened with eggs. In many ways, it starts with a simple custard tart which, when made savoury, becomes that beautiful party buffet favourite – a quiche.
What is so important to realise is that quiche isn’t nearly as tough as you may imagine. It’s just about a little patience and some self belief. You can adapt this recipe to make it more/less healthy as you see fit, and I’ll go into that in a little more detail as we proceed. In any case, however, the flavours here are just incredible. The sulphuric nature of broccoli marries with salty cheeses in a fab way, and goats cheese in particular is a marvellous dance partner. It’s savoury to the extreme and creates a beautiful umami experience.
Ingredients – for a 9inch quiche
- 500ml dairy – I entirely used whole milk, but you could sub in some crème fraîche or double cream to make it richer. Play with the proportions. Maybe 50/50 milk/cream, or to make it super rich just use cream or crème fraîche.
- 3 eggs – this can be 3 whole eggs, OR you can sub each whole egg for 2 egg yolks. Again, this will make it richer.
- Handful of broccoli
- Semi-soft goats cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Pastry – I used puff because I bought it by mistake, ideally use shortcrust
- Lightly oil your dish and line it with the pastry. Gently press it down to fit the dish and trim excess from the edges. Crimp with your fingers for a bit of flourish, and blind bake – this involves lining the pastry with baking parchment and weighing down with baking beads or dry rice. Bake for around 10 minutes at 200C or so. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 140C.
- Steam/microwave/boil the broccoli for no more than 2 minutes. It cooks easily, so it’ll finish off in the quiche itself. Drain and leave out on a paper towel to dry ever so slightly.
- Whisk your eggs until totally mixed, then bring the dairy to a simmer. Pour the dairy over the eggs (in a heatproof bowl). Pour slowly to help the eggs come up to temperature. Season with a touch of salt and pepper but do remember the cheese will also be salty.
- Pour the egg mixture through a sieve into the pastry, then add the brocolli and crumble over as much cheese as you care for. Try to evenly distribute the solids throughout the mixture.
- Bake in the oven at 140C. Check at 30 minutes, then continue to check every 5-10 minutes, giving it a gentle wobble. When the centre is slightly wobbly you know it is done. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then serve either hot or chilled.