Mama Ruth Recipes | Goats Cheese and Watercress QuicheHome-made quiche is not to be confused with the small rubbery things bought from most supermarkets.

There is nothing like a lovely warm slice of home-made quiche straight from the oven, so if you are making this for dinner, make two, one will not be enough regardless of the size of your family. A slice of quiche is also a great sandwich replacement in any lunch-box, and a fantastic way of using up leftovers for variety; I’ll put some notes at the bottom with some of our family favourites.

Ingredients

Pastry

These ingredients are enough for three 8” quiches, tarts or pies. There is no point in making washing up for single quantities when short crust pastry is really easy to freeze. (Wrap in cling film then pop in a freezer bag.)

550g Plain Flour – No need to buy expensive flour, any will do. Just make sure the bag hasn’t been left open in your cupboard as you may find flour weevils in there, tiny little brown bugs that lay eggs and you really don’t want to eat them.

Mama Ruth Recipes | Goats Cheese and Watercress Quiche250g Butter – In most supermarkets this is a whole block of butter.

140mls Water Cold water is better, but no need to be too specific, as long as it’s not warm.

2 Pinches of salt

Filling

Most of these ingredients sit quite happily in the fridge until you need them, it’s only the watercress which you’ll have to buy fresh or if you’re like me and you are lucky enough to have a Son who grows the lovely stuff for Vitacress, you’ll have a fantastic supply on tap all summer.

1 Large Onion A couple of small one’s will do but the flavour is better from a large one.

100g Watercress In season from April to September, my children prefer baby leaf.

2 Large Eggs

150mls Milk – I use skimmed milk (green top) as this is what we have in the fridge, full-fat (blue) will also be fine, but using fat-free (red) will affect the texture of your quiche, as it needs to be creamy.

150g Goats Cheese – A little more or a little less won’t affect things too much apart from the intensity of the flavour; I prefer using the log shaped cheese without rind.

Grated Nutmeg – Which is lovely in most egg based dishes. (My Husband even likes a little sprinkling in his mashed potato!)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 170 C Fan / 375 F / Gas Mark 5.

2. I use a food processor with a dough blade, put the flour and chopped up butter into the processor, and pulse until you get fine breadcrumbs. If you are doing this by hand, the same principle applies, just rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips. When this is done, add the water and turn the processor back on, or kneed by hand, until a ball of dough is created.

TOP TIP – Do not overwork the pastry (kneed too much), it will be tough when you eat it.

3. Make pastry into a log shape, slice into 3 then wrap each in cling wrap and pop in the fridge for an hour or overnight. It will happily sit in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze.

4. When ready, on a lightly floured surface roll out your pastry to a circle slightly larger than your dish or tin. For this recipe I have used an 8” flan tin. Tip – Resist the urge to stretch the pastry as it will only shrink back when cooking.

5. Pick up the pastry by folding it over your rolling pin and drape over your buttered dish. Tip – Be careful, do not make any holes in the pastry as your filling will leak out. ‘Drop’ the pastry into the inside edges of the dish and push against the sides. You can trim the excess off now or after blind baking, once it’s cold. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic or dried baking beans to stop the pastry rising or coming away from the edges.

6. Place in the oven on a baking tray for 20 minutes, then remove paper and beans before returning to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Tip – At this stage you can leave the pastry case for a few days, or freeze it carefully for when you next need one.

7. In a frying pan, put a little oil and the finely sliced onion. Soften the onions until they go clear (in our house we quite like them browned as it makes them sweeter), then add the chopped watercress just to wilt it. Tip – try to not to overcook it as it loses goodness.

8. In a bowl the eggs and milk whisk with a fork and grate in a little nutmeg to taste.

9. In your pastry case, warm or cold, spread out the chopped chunks of goats cheese, then cover with your onion and watercress mixture, then pour in the egg and milk mixture.

10. Place in the oven on a baking tray for 15 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 180 C / 160 C Fan / 350 F / Gas Mark 4 for another 25 minutes. Tip – You can tell when it’s done as it has just lost its wobble in the middle, try not to overcook, but a little wobble is not dreadful as it will continue to cook after it’s out of the oven.

Alternatives from the Mama Ruth kitchen……

Salmon and Watercress

Broccoli and Stilton

Cheddar and Bacon

Ham and Mushroom

Sausage and Tomato

Cauliflower and Cheddar

Roast Tomato and Basil

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