I love me a slice of Quiche. Although I´ve always thought Quiche was a little odd. This delicious mysterious cake has always made me wonder what it´s yellow/whitish body actually consists off. I guess as a little kid I fancied Quiche as the height of sophistication!
Isn´t it often the unknown that we fear and assign some kind of unjustified complexity to? Baking a Quiche is by all means no rocket science. It is simple, creative and fun. As someone who has been procrastinating the preparation of a Quiche like a degree I have always dreamed of studying but never dared to kickoff, I’d like to share the some knowledge on how to bake a luscious Quiche with you. I especially hope that beginners will use this recipe to finally get started because I can’t bear the thought of people keep on missing out on this delightful dish that is just perfect for making use of all kinds of kitchen leftovers.
A Quiche consists of three main components, which are prepared separately. It’s all about creating a winning match of ingredients. Go wild and dare to be creative.
For instructional purposes and for the sake of beginners, this recipe is more comprehensive by providing a few extra explanations. There’s a method and enough instructions to guide a beginner through. You´ll find the list of ingredients below, but you should preferably make use of your leftovers and I will tell you how!
Beginner Quiche in 3 easy steps
A Quiche consists of a…
and of course a filling.
You can either make it yourself and show off or buy it frozen and make your life a lot easier.
If you want it to be organic and free of any artificial additives, you have to do it yourself. I have searched everywhere in South Africa for a 100% natural frozen, rolled puff pastry and not found it anywhere. Clearly there seems to be a gap in the market and if you have a tip for me then please let me know.
I adore frozen puff pastry for its convenience and versatility: Whether pies, quiches or pithiviers, it’s amazing what it can be used for. I still have a little bit of Hungarian Beef Stew left from yesterday and because I don’t need to use all the puff pastry, I use the rest for two little pies. Today I work with Woolies Frozen All Butter Puff Pastry Sheets as they are the best I could find. Simply take it out of the freezer a +/- 4 hours before preparation time. Take an oven dish, grease it thoroughly with butter and fit the pastry sheet in. Don’t think too much, just make it pretty and don´t be shy to play around with it. It reminds me a lot of the small ceramics we did at school or the figures made out of salty dough. Frozen puff pastry comes in sheets, so you can cut and form them however you please. When you fit your sheet into the round cake dish you can decide on how you want your crust to look like. I like mine a bit higher because I want to make sure my content doesn’t spill over and I like the way it looks. Now that you have prepared the base for your Quiche, let’s get started and give it a body and a filling:
As the word body implies, it refers to the firmer and more solid ingredients, the ones that give your Quiche some stability, and texture. Without them your Quiche will be a soggy, wobbly sponge! The body is also where most of the flavor and crunchiness lies. That’s where you get to make use of all your sad little kitchen leftovers that want to be chopped, cooked and eaten up:
After a look into my fridge and pantry and gathering all leftovers I can find, I quickly deliberate what would go well together and decide on a selection, which will be: Crunchy Swiss chard braised with finely chopped onions, crushed garlic and freshly chopped green chili, topped with feta, thyme, rosemary and browned slices of marrow.
The filling refers to the savory custard, which is binding everything together. Most recipes use milk, I use a cup of fresh full-cream. Take a bowl and whisk 4 pasture reared eggs from Farmer Angus, available at the Wellness Warehouse on Kloof Street. People in Johannesburg can buy Farmer Angus eggs at the Jackson Real Food Market in Bryanston. Add the cream to the mixture and sprinkle medium sized chunks of feta cheese into the mix, as well as finely chopped rosemary and thyme. Pour your batter over your green chard mix into the oven dish that is laid out with pastry. Now decorate the top with brown slices of marrows.
Simply braise onions until golden, then add chili, crushed garlic and chard, toss in olive oil. Use high heat but don’t leave the chard too long in the pan. Whether you use spinach, kale or broccoli, don´t over-cook your vegetables. Simply braise on high heat or blanch. At this stage you just combine all the flavors. It still has to go into the oven and who likes mushy dead vegetables without any nutrients? To make my Quiche look pretty, I fry the slices of Zucchini that I had left, in the same pan. Add a little bit more olive oil if necessary and brown the slices until golden. Simply spread out the chard mix over the puff pastry dough in the oven dish.
Spread all the green chard mix evenly across the oven dish which is filled with your pastry and sprinkle a handful of cheese and finely chopped fresh herbs over everything. Use left-over herbs if you have, in my case rosemary and thyme.
The cheese will help to bind the body with the filling as you will see in the next step. We’ll use the browned slices of marrows at the end to decorate the top. For me it’s white cheddar today, but you can use any other cheese that you like. Especially Gruyere or goats cheese is perfect for Quiche.
high quality extra virgin olive oil
fresh thyme 1/2 bunch
fresh rosemary 1/2 bunch
white cheddar 1,5C
pasture reared eggs from Farmer Angus 4
fresh cream 1C
sea salt 1t
black pepper 1 pinch
butter to grease
swiss chard 1 bunch
crushed garlic 1 clove
finely chopped onion 1