There are post-holiday blues, and then there are post holiday-blues, like when you return from your fairytale wedding on an island in a sparkly sea surrounded by your friends and family to find that the decorators you’ve so carefully timed to give your flat a refresh in your absence have disconnected your telly, left the contents of your kitchen on the floor, the books off the bookshelf and hung your pictures ‘their way’. Plus your beloved, tiny sausage dog is so cross at being left behind that he’s up at 3am wanting a pee and a walk –except he doesn’t really, he just wants to annoy you.
How to combat such a comedown and persuade the newlyweds not to make a break for the nearest airport? Yesterday, September tried an effort at an Indian summer to show that London is still a brilliant place to be. I think it should keep trying – the BSG and I are taking them for drinks outside the Dock Kitchen next week.
In our first modest effort to go some way to buoying the spirits of these two dear friends – let’s call them Barbie and Ken – and thanking them for the Montenegrin extravaganza that was their wedding we decided to make them a quiche. I’d been meaning to make one, having never attempted it due to an abject fear of short pastry, and we’d been inspired by a very good homemade one recently courtesy of our friend G. Barbie happens to be a veggie, so it would also prove a useful exercise in the expansion of my pitiful repertoire in that department (stuffed baked marrow, anyone?).
I came across this recipe whilst flicking through the BSG’s newest epicurean tome, How to Eat In, by Adam Byatt of Trinity in Clapham. Both of us were already eager to visit Trinity; having read these recipes we’re champing at the bit. His recipe called for fresh morels, but it being early autumn rather than early summer we used dried chanterelles instead and it worked out fine.
Quiche of morels, broad beans and goat’s cheese
150g fresh morels (or 15g dried morels or chanterelles)
200g fresh broad beans (we used frozen ones)
1 bunch chives
Shortcrust pastry (make your own or readymade is fine)
2 egg yolks
700 ml double cream
100g goat’s cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 ˚C. Clean and trim the fresh mushrooms, or soak the dried ones. Blanch the beans in boiling salted water, run under cold water and pop them from their outer casings. Finely chop the chives.
Place a 26cm x 4cm tart ring or dish on a cold baking sheet.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a 40cm disc that is 0.5 cm thick. Drape it over the tart ring, then press it well into the bottom inside edge and let it overhang the top. Line the pastry case with clingfilm and fill with rice or baking beans. Bake ‘blind’ for 25 minutes.
Take the pastry case out of the oven, keeping it in the ring on the baking sheet. Removed the clingfilm and rice or beans and leave the pastry to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 160˚C for cooking the quiche.
Put the eggs and egg yolks into a large bowl and gently whisk in the cream. Crumble in the goat’s cheese, stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a frying pan, splash in some olive oil and gently fry the mushrooms for 4 minutes with plenty of seasoning. Remove and leave to cool, then add to the egg and cream mix with the beans. Leave to stand for 30 minutes – this will prevent the mushrooms from rising to the top of the filling during baking.
Trim the overhanging pastry off the cooled pastry case and brush away the crumbs to leave a perfectly lined tart ring.
Return the tart ring to the oven and, keeping the oven door open, pour the filling mix into the pastry case. Close the oven door and bake the quiche for 45 minutes, gently shaking the baking sheet after 30 minutes. When the quiche is done, the filling should be set around the edges with a slight wobble in the centre.
Take the quiche out of the oven and allow to cool in the tart ring for an hour or so before cutting into slices.