Back home, I literally used to live in this bakery called “Winners” down the road from where I used to live. Every time I crossed the bakery to get home, it was “to stop or not to stop” situation. As you may already know, it was mostly “stop” for me.
I loved going to Winners because it is quite old fashioned in many ways. Cane shelves were always stacked with fresh loaves of bread, tea cakes and sponges. Their baking unit is right behind the bakery, so it was impossible to miss the aroma of freshly baked goodies as you walked in. The next thing you know, you are walking out holding two big covers full of delicious things to eat.
I always had my eye on their walnut and banana muffins, lemon tarts, fresh strawberry buttercream pastries and cheese and onion quiche. I might have walked out of the bakery without either of these things at some point, but I’d never, ever give the quiche a miss.
My first quiche experience was with Winners and there was no looking back. The idea of a savoury custard tart was immensely appealing to me. What’s not to like about a creamy blend of eggs, cream and cheese encased in a buttery shortcrust pastry? Nothing really.
Pavan loves quiche. He always tells me how I don’t make it often and so as he surprisingly came home early from work one day, I surprised him with this lovely parsley and tomato quiche. There are many things that can go wrong with a quiche – it can taste eggy if the filling isn’t cooked properly and the pastry can become soggy if it’s undercooked.
With this easy recipe, I’ve attempted to demystify the art of making the perfect shortcrust pastry so that you get a lovely, golden, crisp tart with a beautiful filling.
- 130 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 20 g (1.5 tbsp) vegetable shortening
- ½ tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp cold water
- 1 cup cream
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tomato, sliced into rounds
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup cheddar, grated
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Makes an 8 inch pastry
- In a food processor, combine flour, butter, vegetable shortening and salt. Pulse 4-5 times. Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time. Process till the dough comes together.
- Topple the dough on to a floured work surface and bring it together. Flatten the dough into a disc and roll it into a rough 9” circle of ¼ inch thickness. Place the pastry deftly back on an 8” loosed bottomed fluted tart tin. Press the bottom and the sides of the tin tightly.
- Refrigerate the pastry for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Once the tart has chilled, prick the entire base of the tart with a fork leaving ½ inch gap between every prick. Place a parchment paper over the tart and fill it with dried beans. Bake the tart for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the beans and continue to bake the tart for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk together cream, milk and egg in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sauté the onions with some oil.
- Layer the semi baked tart shell with sautéed onions. Add the grated cheese next. Pour the egg cream mixture. Place the tomatoes and sprinkle chopped parsley. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the quiche is golden brown and the filling has set.