Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Wild Garlic Quiche

 It is the season of Wild Garlic, a lovely food season where people (like me) can pretend to be scouring the wild for their tea and returning home victorious to a well earned pint after a hard day's searching, foraging and gathering.
I may have exaggerated a little there as I am quite fortunate to know of a good stash of wild garlic a mere 2 minutes walk from the OH's flat, but hey when finding food in the wild (local park) it's something to be slightly pleased about.

Anyway, it's a relatively simple plant to find. It grows like wildfire and it has very nice and edible little white flowers attached to it. It also has a very distinctive strong smell and chances are you will smell it before you see it. There is about a month left of the season so you still have plenty of time to find some.
 As well as obtaining some wild garlic, the kind folks at Barber's 1833 recently sent me some of their excellent cheddar to sample. Matured for at least 2 years, it is a delicious cheese with a rich taste that only comes from decent cheese that has had time to develop its flavour.

Pondering what to make with it (before I ate it all) I did think about making a classic rarebit but with spring in the air and the clocks going forward, I only had one option and I had to make the first quiche of the year.

Using a standard quiche base of eggs cream and milk, I grated a good chunk of cheddar in, alongside sliced up wild garlic leaves. I also added nutmeg to the pastry to liven it up a bit. The end result was delicious, cheesy, creamy quiche with the cheese balancing well with the wild garlic and not getting completely drowned out, a perfect spring time treat.

Ingredients
Pastry
200g plain flour
100g butter
1 egg yolk
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Filling
100g Chedder Cheese, grated
8-10 leaves of Wild Garlic, rolled into a cigar then finely sliced
150ml double cream
100ml milk
4 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper

You will need a 20cm fluted, loose based tart tin

Method
Pastry
Add the butter to the flour and rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
add the water and stir with a knife to combine, then knead together quickly to combine until a soft dough.Wrap tightly in clingfilm and leave in fridge for at least half n hour.
Get two sheets of cling film, spread one across the work surface, place each mound of dough in the middle and spread the other sheet over the top. Roll out gently in between the two sheets of cling film (this method stops any excess flour being added to the pastry and drying it out). Remove the top layer and using the bottom layer drape the pastry gently into the tin and press gently into all edges. 

With a rolling pin, roll it over the top of the tart tin to take off the edge.  
Prick the base with a fork to stop it from rising in the oven. Return to the fridge. 
Preheat the oven to 180C and place a baking tray in the oven to heat up.

Push up the edges of the pastry slightly to compensate for shrinkage.
Bake blind for 15 minutes then for a further 15 minutes normally to dry out and bake the base.
Once baked, brush the base with egg white to create a seal.
Lower the oven temperature to 150C

Filling
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, cream and nutmeg until fully combined. Season to taste.
Stir in the cheese and wild garlic and pour into the tart casing.
Bake at 150C for 30 - 40 minutes until slightly golden.
Allow to cool before serving.



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