Thursday, March 24, 2011


For my first attempt at quiche, I wanted a flaky shell that contrasted well with the creamy filling, which is a bit of a conundrum because butter promotes flakiness and at the same time, blends in with the creamy filling. I found the solution in keeping the butter to half the weight of flour, and adding iced vinegar to hold the dough together plus prevent gluten development, which would lead to chewy pastry (eww!). The vinegar also adds a certain je ne sais quois that contrasts beautifully with the richness of the filling, which is actually quite light, so I ate both quiches (oink.)

Quiche shell (makes two 4-inch shells)

37g all purpose flour
1 tsp wheat germ
20g unsalted butter
pinch of salt and sugar (Sugar brings out the flavour of butter, which is important because there isn't a lot of butter in this pastry. Add more sugar than salt)
2 tsp of a flavourful vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) 
About 3 ice cubes

1. Cut butter into 1/2 cm cubes and place in freezer
2. Toast the wheat germ in a saucepan till it turns a darker brown and smells toasted (a little like toasted bread)
3. In a small glass, pour the vinegar over the ice cubes
4. Put flour, the toasted wheat germ, salt, and sugar into bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
5. Add the frozen butter and pulse until you get tiny yellow clumps, about 10 sec. 
6. Sprinkle on iced vinegar, 1/2 tsp at a time, immediately tossing through with a fork. Stop when the dough comes together when gently pressed.
7. Using fingertips, knead dough through cling wrap for a few seconds then press into a ball and wrap the cling wrap around it and refrigerate for 1hr.
8. Remove dough from fridge and let sit for a few min then roll out the dough between sheets of cling wrap. 
9. Line quiche tins, loosely cover tins with cling wrap and place them in the fridge for 15 min before moving them to freezer for another 15 min.
10. Blind bake shells at 190 deg c for 20 min or till just golden
11. Remove shells from oven, brush with egg white, then pour on filling (should come up to 3mm from the top of shell)
12. Bake at 170 deg c, about 10 min till filling is set.

Note: If you don't have wheat germ, replace with whole meal flour or omit altogether, using instead 40g of all purpose flour. But try to get your hands on it- gives a charming biscuity flavour to your pastry. 

Filling (enough for two 4-inch shells)

100ml whole milk
1 egg
Cheese (I chopped up 1 slice of gouda)
A little bit of whatever you can find in your fridge, sauteed. Ideas: mushrooms, leeks, bacon
salt and pepper

1. In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, cook milk and egg until thickened 
2. Stir in rest of the ingredients and pour into shells

Note: you can use less milk and skip the cooking process, pouring the milk + egg mixture straight into the shells, but I cooked them down to reduce the risk of getting a soggy crust. 

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