Baking Through The Book, Love Lies & Lemon Pies

Baking Through The Book: Asparagus Quiche

Great British Bake Off is back on our screens tonight! I’m so excited… And did you see that one of the contestants is only 17 years old? I can totally imagine Lottie taking part, can’t you? Of course, her perfectionism might be her worst enemy with timed challenges… she’d have to have Mac or Jasper along to speed her up!

Today’s recipe is kind of like my own technical challenge – trying to recreate a dish I’ve eaten a thousand times before. It also includes a couple of new techniques, like making a roux, and it was the dish that taught me the meaning of the phrase ‘bake blind.’ Fortunately, my Mum was happy to give me the recipe to include in the book!

This quiche is the one my Mum has made for family gatherings for years – mostly because we all complain if she doesn’t! It’s truly delicious, if a little different to a lot of the recipes in the book – not least because it’s a savoury dish! But I really hope you’ll give it a try.

Ingredients

  • 225g shortcrust pastry (make your own or buy it ready made – either is fine!)
  • 25g butter
  • 25g flour
  • 150ml milk
  • 425g tin of asparagus spears (and 150ml of the liquid they come in)
  • 50g cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C / fan 170°C / gas mark 5

Roll out the pastry quite thinly and use it to line a greased 20cm flan ring (or any kind of round quiche or pie dish or tin really)

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Bake blind for 25 minutes by cutting a circle of greaseproof paper to fit the middle of the pastry in the tin then weighting it down with baking beads (or dried pasta!) before you put it in the oven. The weighted paper will stop the middle of the pastry puffing up in the oven as it bakes.

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While it’s baking, melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour to form a roux – a smooth sort of paste. Keep it on the hob over a gentle heat for two minutes, stirring the whole time, then take it off the heat.

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Mix the milk with the water from the tin of asparagus and add a little salt and pepper to taste.

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Put the pan back over the gentle heat  and gradually add the liquid, stirring all the time, to make a sauce.

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Let the sauce cool a little, then pour into the pastry case (removing the paper and baking beads first!)

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Sprinkle half the cheese over the sauce, then arrange the asparagus spears to form the spokes of a wheel on top.

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Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

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Turn the oven up to 200°C / fan 180°C / gas mark 6

Return the quiche to the oven and cook for just 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

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