Smoked Salmon Quiche
Chef says "I use my hands to make my pastry for quiche (as well as for sweet pastry). There are no machines involved. I find that I can use less flour this way and get a really flaky pastry that melts in your mouth. This flakiness is also partly due to that I add crème fraiche instead of water to the pastry dough. And instead of chilling the dough before pressing it out in the pie dish, I chill it afterwards. Trust me - it works!
For the pastry:
110g, 3¾oz, 1 stick, lightly salted butter, cut into cubes
165g, 6oz, 1.2 cups flour – I use white spelt flour
1 tablespoon crème fraiche
Pie dish, approximately 23cm/9in in diameter
Baking parchment and baking beans (see above)
For the filling:
3 large, or 4 small-medium sized organic or free-range eggs
300g, 10½oz, 1.3 cups, crème fraiche (use 1 heaped tablespoon for the pastry)
250g, 9oz, smoked salmon, chopped
A small handful of dill, chopped – or use 2-3 spring onions, or a handful of chopped chives
Salt and pepper
1. Put the butter and most of the flour into a large bowl. With your hands, quickly work the ingredients into a dough. Flatten out the dough in the bowl and place the tablespoon of whatever dairy product you are using in the middle of the dough. Fold in the sides, then add the rest of the flour to the bowl and quickly work it all together. You should end up with a very soft, but not sticky dough.
2. Once again, flatten out the dough and place it in the middle of your pie dish. With your fingers, keep pushing out the dough from the middle towards and then up the sides of the dish until it looks reasonably even. Place the pie dish in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Heat the oven to 200C/fan180C/400F/gas mark 6. Take out the pie dish and use a fork to prick the pastry all over the bottom of the pie dish (this is done to prevent the pastry from rising in the middle). Cover the pastry with baking parchment, place whatever baking beans you are using on top and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
4. Take out the pie dish and carefully remove the baking parchment and the baking beans. If the sides have collapsed a bit, then take a teaspoon and gently press the back of the spoon all around the edge of the pie dish to make the sides rise a bit. But hey, don’t fret if the pastry is a bit uneven – that rustic look is what might convince people that you actually made it!
5. In a bowl, mix together the eggs and crème fraiche and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Add the salmon and dill and stir it into the mixture. Taste to check the seasoning.
6. Return the pie dish to the oven for another 5 minutes until the pastry starts to brown a little. Take it out of the oven. Pour the filling into the pastry case. Place the quiche in the pre-heated oven and bake for around 30 minutes, until the mixture has set and the quiche is nicely browned.