I don’t know where I picked up my pastry making skills but it’s something that I’ve always been able to do. It’s a good job really as I was put to the test last year when we were on a cookery course in Croatia. We were being taught how to make all sorts of dishes including Croatian fuzi pasta, but our teachers seemed a little stumped when it came to dessert. They asserted that because we were British we should be able to make the pastry for a sweet custard tart – not sure that logic follows. The pressure was on – no weighing scales, no recipe and my phone wasn’t picking up the internet, I only had my instinct to rely on. I’ve only ever made savoury or plain pastry so having eggs and sugar passed over for inclusion did make my anxiety levels rise. It turned out well in the end – but I’m not sure if it wasn’t more luck than skills that saved the British culinary reputation that day!
Anyway back to pastry. This recipe is really easy and quick to do but is a wholesome and healthy take on a classic quiche. You can change the filling to include whatever is in your fridge but our favourite combinations include fig and blue cheese, sun-dried tomato and leeks or salmon and Swiss chard. If you follow our blog you’ll know that we are fans of spelt flour, it makes this pastry crisp and tasty.
For the pastry:
250g spelt flour
150g unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
2/3 tbsp water
For the filling:
300g of bacon pieces
handful of purple sprouting broccoli
100g creme fraiche
50g of grated hard cheese
salt & pepper
Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the butter. Rub together until you have very fine breadcrumbs. You need cold hands! If it starts to stick to your hands cool them under cold water and then carry on. Next add the water slowly until you have a ball of dough. Cover the dough in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/gas mark 6). Flour a surface and roll out the pastry to fit a 22cm spring form tart tin. Prick the base with a fork then line with greaseproof paper and baking beans (or you can use dried chickpeas) and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely then remove the paper and baking beans. Turn the oven down to 160°C.
Fry the bacon until slightly brown and remove from the pan. Add the purple sprouting broccoli with a couple of tbsp of water. Cover and allow to wilt over a low heat for three minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
Mix together the milk, cream and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Put the bacon and broccoli into the tart and then add the milk mixture and sprinkle on the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Leave to cool before serving.