Sunday 29 July 2012

Quiche Lorraine

This classic Quiche Lorraine is a pure celebration in itself. 
Filled with salami, cheese, tomatoes and onions this pie is enough to tantalize anyone's taste buds. Though thought to be the quintessential of French cuisine, it actually originated in Germany in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word 'quiche' is from the German 'Kuchen' meaning cake.
This savory, open-faced  pastry dish is a complete meal in itself. On hearing the name of the dish for the first time,  this pie might sound a bit complex to you, but believe me, it is as simple to make as much as the name sounds complicated. 
The best part is that you can really play around with the fillings as suited to each one's palate - chicken, fish, minced meat, bacon and vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, the possibilities for quiche fillings are limitless. If you are watching your weight, just omit the base totally.
With a little creativity and playing around with different combinations, you can make your very own special quiche that will wow the entire family, and keep them coming back for more!!

For the Shortcrust Pastry
200 gms flour
100 gms butter
1 egg
pinch of salt
4 eggs
3/4 cup cream
50 grated Mozzarella cheese
50 grated processed cheese
100 gms salami, cut into small pieces
2 tsp mustard powder
1 onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Sift the flour with a pinch of salt. Cut the butter in cubes.
Rub the flour and the butter together with your fingertips till it resembles breadcrumbs.
 Whisk your egg and put in just enough egg to bind the dough.
Wrap the pastry in a clingfilm and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

                            Spread some cling film out. Lay it as large as you can. Take another square of clingfilm and lay on top of the pastry and roll it out. This is an amazingly simple way (which I saw on Rachael Allen's Bake) to roll your shortcrust pastry without having it getting stuck all over your slab. It also makes it extremely simple to move around the pastry dough as the pastry remains firm and pliant  while rolling it out. 
 Try and roll out the pastry a little thinner than you would want it eventually, as the pastry tends to thicken a bit on baking.

Once it is rolled out peel off  the top layer of clingfilm. 
Flip the cling film and pastry over onto a pie dish, so the bottom sheet of clingfilm is now on the top. Using a sharp knife, trim away any pastry that extends above the top rim of the dish. 
If you have got an egg and cream based filling, you need to blindbake or prebake the pastry as the base can get soggy. Line the base with some clingfilm and put in some kidney beans. 
Put it in a moderate oven about 180 C for about  20 minutes. Remove the beans and bake the pastry for further 10 minutes.
While the pastry is baking, make the egg fillingMix all the ingredients for the filling together. Check for seasoning. Carefully pour it into the baked pie shell
When ready to bake, place the pie dish on another plate to avoid spilling in the oven. This way it also makes it easier to remove the  hot dish from the oven after it bakes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 - 40 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let cool for 15 minutes, then slice into pieces and enjoy.

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