cooking melbourne

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Artichoke and Chard Quiche

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Seasonal vegetables, artichokes and Swiss chard, are perfect contenders for a quiche filling. This quiche requires a little vegetable preparation but the pastry I use makes this an easy, 30 minute baking step. Making quiches with shortcrust pastry can be a bit tricky as you generally have bake the pastry blind and then fill it with eggy mixture and bake it again until just set. Unfortunately what often happens is you get some pastry shrinkage around the rim after baking which can result in a significant reduction in the amount of filling that can then be accommodated and the finished product can look a  bit misshapen. To avoid all this and the buttery richness of a shortcrust pastry I like to use a Greek pastry, similar to strudel pastry, that does not need pre-baking. To ensure the bottom also gets a nice golden crust I assemble my quiche on a perforated pizza tray with a loose stainless steel pastry ring placed on top. Pastry rings are wonderful for giving a nice professional pastry edge and they make it easy to remove baked contents. They are not cheap and require you to also have a good quality baking tray that does not warp with heat. Scullerymade in Marlvern have quality professional cookware and will have lots of sizes to choose from or shop online at Executive Chef. If you are a keen baker you won’t want to use a shallow, fluted quiche tin again.

Artichoke and Chard Quiche

26 cm  x 4.5 cm pastry ring; perforated pizza tray

  • 500 g Irene’s Greek Pastry or a rough puff pastry
  • 4 artichokes, cleaned, quartered and boiled until tender
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 50 g Halloumi cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 ml whipping cream
  • 250 ml milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • zest of a lemon
  • leaves of several sprigs fresh thyme

Prepare the artichokes and after boiling drain and cut them into smaller pieces if necessary, discarding any tough outer leaves you may still have. Wash the chard and remove the central vein. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or clean tea towel. You need to do this so you don’t have excess moisture or green liquid from the chard spoiling your quiche. Roughly chop the chard. Saute the sliced leeks in olive oil until softened then add the chopped chard.  Add a few good slugs of olive oil and saute gently until the chard is completely wilted. Leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC.

Roll out the pastry and stretch it so it lines and overhangs the pastry circle. Trim away the thick edges of pastry leaving a 1 cm overhang as shown above. Line the base of the pastry with chard and then scatter the grated Halloumi cheese over the chard. Next place the artichokes in the quiche and grate lemon zest over them. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Mix the eggs, cream, milk, salt and pepper together and pour into the quiche form. Roll the edges of pastry inwards to form a neat rolled edge. Bake for 30 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes and then lift off the pastry ring. The quiche can be slid off the pizza tray to a nice plate for serving at the table.

 

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cooking melbourne • June 9, 2017


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