I’m in the “any-excuse-for-pastry” camp and really believe that there aren’t many foods that can’t be improved by wrapping them up in the good stuff. And it really wasn’t until a few years ago when I learnt to make my own pastry from scratch that I started finding reasons to use it in every day cooking. Buying it from the supermarket can get kind of expensive, and it seemed like a lot of work to make it myself. What I didn’t realise then was that making pastry from scratch requires only butter, flour and water, takes a few minutes, and can sit in the fridge until you need it. I also think it tastes a hell of a lot better than the store-bought stuff, and sounds really impressive when you tell your dinner guests that you made it yourself (they don’t need to know it isn’t hard).
I made this quiche last week after our weekly visit to the Preston Market for groceries – they have the most unreal produce from just about every ethnicity you can think of; this time, the chorizo and Manchego stood out, so I went with a Spanish-style quiche. It was actually really easy to throw together and keeps well in the fridge in an air-tight container for a few days, so you can always double the ingredients for a bigger quiche or make two, and take them to work for lunch with you during the week if you feel like a change from sandwiches!
Ingredients (makes one medium quiche)
– 1 portion of pastry (see below)
– 1 small chorizo sausage
– 1 cup grated Manchego cheese
– 1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
– 4 eggs
– ¾ cup milk
– 100g plain flour
– 100g butter, super cold and diced into small pieces
– ice cold water
– pinch of salt
First, you’ll need to make the pastry…
It tastes freakin unreal, it always comes out golden and crumbly. Also, if you substitute the salt for a little sugar, it makes a killer sweet pastry too!
1. Combine the butter, flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and rub them together to form crumbs. Try to work quickly, as the pastry will turn out better if the butter stays cold.
2. Once rubbed together and formed into rough crumbs, add 1 tbsp ice cold water and mix. If you need a little more to bring the dough together, add another tbsp. Bring the dough together with your hands, gently forming it into a ball (trying not to over handle it). Wrap it in cling wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it.
Once the pastry has rested…
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 9 inch quiche tin, roll out the pastry and fit it into the tin. Prick it with a fork so the steam has somewhere to escape, lay a sheet of baking paper over it and fill it with pie weights, dry rice or dry beans.
2. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown, then remove it to be filled.
3. While the pastry is in the oven for those 10 minutes, prepare the filling. Slice up the chorizo into chunks the size of your preference and fry them up on a non stick pan. Don’t bother oiling the pan, because a ton of oil will come out of it.
4. Once it’s all brown and crispy and smelling irresistible, throw in the tomato and cook it all up for another 2 or 3 minutes over high heat. Then, set the pan aside to cool a little
5. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl, add in the chorizo, tomato, parsley and half of the cheese, as well as a little salt and pepper. Pour it all into the pastry crust, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and throw it back into the oven for another 20 minutes, or until set and golden on top.
No, it’s not the sexiest quiche in the world, and yes I probably could have taken more care with the crust and prettied it up a bit. But I’d rather my food taste amazing than look perfect, so I’m pretty happy with this! I was also surprised at just how quick and easy it was to make, which is bad news for my waist line, because that means I’ll be making more. Ah well, life’s too short to say no to pastry..