Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mushroom and Leek Quiche - A Classic French baked Savory dish

The word 'Quiche' comes from French. A pie made primarily of eggs and cream in a pastry crust. Other ingredients such as chopped meat or vegetables are often added to the eggs before the quiche is baked.
Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake.
The original ‘quiche Lorraine’ was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.
Quiche became popular in England sometime after the Second World War, and in the U.S. during the 1950's. Because of its primarily vegetarian ingredients, it was considered a somehow ‘unmanly’ dish, -“real men don’t eat quiche.” Today, one can find many varieties of quiche, from the original quiche Lorraine, to ones with broccoli, mushrooms, ham and/or seafood (primarily shellfish). Quiche can be served as an entrée, for lunch, breakfast or an evening snack.
I used to buy a slice of quiche almost everyday for dinner when I was deputed to Germany during my work days...
But now a freshly baked quiche, is the perfect comfort food...
I love to have quiche for an early dinner.... its filling, healthy and yet so delicious..!
I have made the pastry base at home, and for that you need to follow the exact measurements I have given, but the filling is as per my palate, so you could make it the way you want.....

Serves 3

For the filling
25g butter - 25 gms
Leeks - washed and sliced - 2
Mushrooms - 250 gms - sliced
Egg - 1
Cream - 100 gms
Gruyère cheese/Gorgonzola/Gouda/ any hard cheese - coarsely grated
For pastry
280g plain flour - 280 gms
Cold butter - 140 gms cut into pieces

To make the pastry :

Take a large glass bowl, add the flour and butter, then rub together with your fingertips until completely mixed and crumbly. Add 8 tbsp cold water, then bring everything together with your hands until just combined. Roll into a ball and use straight away or chill for up to 2 days.
The pastry can also be frozen for up to a month.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round about 5 cm larger than a 25 cm tin. Use your rolling pin to lift it up, then drape over the tart case so there is an overhang of pastry on the sides. 
Using a small ball of pastry scraps, push the pastry into the corners of the tin. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.
While the pastry is chilling, heat the butter in a pan and cook the leeks for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Then turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 mins more, then turn off the heat.
Lightly prick the base of the tart with a fork, line the tart case with a large circle of grease proof paper or foil, then fill with baking beans or raw rice or any other bean. Blind-bake the tart for 20 mins, remove the paper and beans, then continue to cook for 5-10 mins until biscuit brown
While the tart case cooks, beat the eggs in a bowl, then gradually add the cream. Stir in the leeks, mushrooms and half the cheese. Season, then put the filling into the tart case.
Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, then bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden brown. Leave to cool in the case, trim the edges of the pastry, then remove and serve in slices.

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