Oct 11

Picnic ham and parmesan quiche

I made this quiche in a flurry of cooking activity for a picnic at the zoo. Considering the environment, it probably should have been filled with vegetarian delights - I have only become aware of my insensitivity as I write this prologue to the recipe.

If you are more ethical than I, or are planning to enjoy this in a similar environment you could substitute the ham for some mushrooms, or asparagus.


Recipe: Ham and parmesan quiche

Pastry ingredients

This pastry freezes well so, if you use pastry often, it makes sense to double the quantities and reserve some for another time.

  • 4 ½oz / 125g plain flour
  • 3 oz / 85g chilled butter, diced
  • 1 egg,  lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • pinch of salt

Filling ingredients

  • 7 oz / 200g cooked ham, chopped into chunks ( I used slow-cooked ham shank)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 2 whole free-range eggs & 3 egg yolks
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100ml full fat milk
  • 3 ½ oz / 100g parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 oz / 25g mature cheddar, grated
  • pinch of mace
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

If you have a food processor: Place the flour into the processor and add the diced butter. Pulse until the mixture forms coarse breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl.

If you are mixing by hand: Sift the flour into a bowl with the diced butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter in until the mixture forms breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the beaten egg and cold water.

Use a flexible dough scraper or spatula to bring the ingredients together then knead lightly to smooth the dough and form into a ball. Add a little more water if necessary. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm, press down lightly to flatten, and rest in the fridge for around 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC.

Prepare a 9″ quiche tin, preferably loose-bottomed.

Once the pastry has rested, transfer it to a floured surface and roll into a round.

Line the quiche tin with the pastry and use scissors to trim around the top, leaving a little excess. Fold the excess down inside to form a thicker top crust or leave it and slice off after the blind-bake.  Prick the base with a fork.

Line the pastry with a sheet of greaseproof paper or foil and fill with baking beans. Blind-bake the pastry in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper/foil and return to the oven for  another 5 minutes.

Reduce the oven to 170ºC.

Place the chopped ham over the bottom of the pastry, followed by the spring onions and parmesan.

Lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolks with the cream, milk and spices to combine. Season well.

Pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients in the pastry and fill to the brim. Sprinkle the grated cheddar on top.

Place the quiche in the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the filling has set and the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with a light salad at home, or chill in portions to fill lunch-boxes or share on a picnic.

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