Asparagus Quiche

This is my very favourite quiche, it’s so delicious  and really special as the season for asparagus is so short, we do grow them in the garden but there is not really enough so I supplement ours with some locally grown. These are sold by Tony, originally from Italy,  now a very young 88 years.  I am  always  happy to be able to buy from him, we have a chat and past some time together by putting the ‘world to rights’.

The pastry is a ‘short’ crust. I have been told by my mother years ago that cold hands and cold water make the best pastry!

For the pastry you will need the following

4oz Plain flour
2oz Fat – this can be butter, lard or margarine or a half and half mix.
Pinch of salt
1 to 2 Tablespoons of cold water

Method

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl

Cut the fat into small pieces and add to the flour

Rub the fat into the flour very softly and lifting it to a height which lets the air into it as it drops  back into the bowl from your fingers, continue to do this until the fat has been blended into the flour. A few little bits of fat left doesn’t matter and wont affect the end result.

Sprinkle the cold water in and using a knife cut through until a dough is formed then using your fingers bring it together to a ball.

Wrap in cling film or grease proof paper and leave in the fridge for around 20 to 30 minutes.

While the pastry is ‘resting’ prepare the filling.

For the filling you will need

8 oz Fresh asparagus washed and the ends trimmed
2 Small shallots diced
1/2 oz of butter
3 Eggs (medium if you have large eggs  less fluid will be needed)
1/2 Pint of milk or cream or half and half (the more cream will make a richer filling)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 oz Grated mature hard cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C or 425F or Gas mark 7

Cut the asparagus to about 3 inches and retain the trimmed ends.

Cut the trimmed ends very finely and add to the pan with the diced shallots and butter

Cook until the shallot is transparent and leave aside for later use.

Take pastry out of the fridge

Roll out the pastry to fit a 7/8 inch ring flan or flan dish

Put the cooked shallot mixture in the base of the pastry case

Add the pieces of asparagus on top of the shallot mixture

In a bowl add the eggs, milk and or cream and gently beat together until incorporated

Add salt and pepper

Pour the mixture into the pastry case

Add the grated cheese on top of the mixture

Place in the preheated oven  for about 10 minutes 220C or 425F or Gas mark 7 then reduce the temp to 190C or 375F or Gas mark 5 for a further 20 to 25  minutes or until the centre of the quiche is firm to the touch.

This dish can be served hot or cold


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