Leek, Comte and Cox Apple Quiche
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Ingredients / Shopping List

 

 Shortcrust pastry: 

250g plain flour

125g butter at room temperature

Water

 Filling:

300g leeks (2 large leeks)

1 cox apple

5 eggs

300ml cream

200g Comte cheese

Ground black pepper

Sea salt

Prep Time:   0:20
Cook Time:   0:30
Serves:   6

Prep to Cook: Prep to cook:  Use a large flan tin with loose base, mixing bowl, knife, measuring jug whisk, chopping board, vegetable knife, grater, plate, frying pan, parchment paper, baking beans

 Oven:  Electric 200C or Gas Mark 6

 

Prep the pastry: 

Rub the butter into the flour, until it is fine and crumbly

Add cold water and stir

Pull together to form a pastry dough

Flour the table top and shape the dough to a round ball

Carefully roll out the pastry to a large circle and leave the pastry to relax

Check you have a circle of parchment paper and some baking beans

Hold the flan base over the rolled pastry to check the pastry is the correct size

It should be at least 2 cm bigger all the way round

Fold the pastry circle into half and then into quadrant and lift into the flan tin

Unfold the pastry and carefully press the pastry around the base

Lift the pastry up the sides of the flan tin and press against the sided

Trim the top edge of the pasty

Push the parchment paper into the flan and put about 4 tablespoon baking beans in

Cook in the oven at 200C for 18 minutes, remove the parchment paper and return to the oven for 4 more minutes to allow the flan case pastry to dry off ( this will prevent a soggy base)

 

 Prep the filling: 

Trim the very green leafy part of the leek away and also the root ending

Slice the stem into thin circles and wash in a colander

Fry gently in about 30g butter, stirring to prevent burning and excessive browning

When the leeks are softened and separated leave to cool

Grate the Comte cheese onto a plate

Crack 5 eggs and whisk them with the cream

Season well with cracked black pepper and sea salt

 

Prep the quiche: 

Fill the pastry base as follows:

Firstly half the cooked leeks, followed by a layer of grated cheese

Add the remaining leek 

Quarter the apple and remove the core

Slice the apple thinly and insert into the leek layer in a pattern round the flan

Pour over the egg mixture taking care not to over-fill beyond the pastry side

Sprinkle on the remaining grated cheese

Return to the oven and cook gently for 25 – 30 minutes

Look for a gently golden brown tinge all over the flan

Remove and allow to cool

Check it out !

 

Quiches are wonderful.  You may find them rather fiddly to prepare but the effort has pay back.  Once made and stored in the fridge they enable the easiest most impressive meal.  Quiche and salad, what more could you want.

Making the pastry can be substituted by using readymade chilled pastry as this really does save time and effort.  The leeks are from the onion family and therefore it is easy to make this quiche with red onion instead of the leek for a change

Cooks Know How: 

Making the shortcrust pastry flan:   

You learn to make the pastry quickly by rubbing the butter that you have had out at room temperature for a couple of hours, otherwise your fingers will be weary within minutes.  Add really cold water for good pastry.  Roll out carefully and keep the pastry on the move, turning it after each roll so that you know it is not stuck to the table top.   Roll only on the pastry and use even pressure to create a perfect circle.  Use your hands to neaten up any irregular shape that might want to force itself upon you.  It is all about looking and reacting!  You know what shape you are aiming for.  Rolling does stretch the pasty and therefore if you leave it a moment to ‘relax’ it will not shrink back on cooking.  Line the flan tin gently and check that you do not make a hole in the pastry with your finger nails or indeed with a fork.  A quiche is a filled flan and if you have a hole in the pastry the egg filling will seep through and empty the quiche onto your oven floor. (Believe me it happens!)

 The filling: 

You cannot imagine how helpful and egg is in cooking without thinking of the filling of a quiche.  Just about any ingredient can be diced up and held in the egg and cream filling.  During the cooking the egg proteins set, the technical term is coagulation, and hold the ingredients in place so that each person gets a lovely mixture of flavours and textures in their portion of quiche. The eggs set at around 65C -70C and here is a hint to test the set, look for a wobble in the filling and not a swish!! Wobble will firm up and become a lovely light set when it is cooler.  Swish means the egg proteins are not quite set and the quiche needs cooking a little longer.  

Next Time

 

Try different filling: smoked salmon on top of the leeks with just a dusting of gruyere is refreshingly summery.  Look at other recipes such as fresh salmon and watercress.