A Quiche For Spring

Pea, Pancetta and Cheddar Quiche

As we come into the warmer months a glut of produce is becoming available to us. Rhubarb, strawberries and asparagus are in season and this month I wanted to offer you something light, but substantial.

In a change from my usual baking and dessert recipes, I decided to make a quiche. I adore the humble quiche, it’s filling, tasty, easy to transport for picnics and packed lunches and you can put pretty much anything you want in it and it’ll taste delicious.

This quiche contains some of my favourite flavours, pea and mint are a classic combination and the addition of mature cheddar and pancetta make this a bit more interesting. Of course you can play around with the ingredients to use up any leftovers you might have languishing in the back of the fridge.  

Quiche is traditionally a French dish, but it has become increasingly popular in the UK, forming the part of many a buffet and picnic. This dish makes a delicious light lunch with a side salad, or it would be perfect for a make ahead evening meal, served with buttered Jersey Royals and a tomato salad.

I have provided a recipe for the pastry below, but if you’re pressed for time or you don’t like making pastry, 200/250g of ready-made short-crust pastry should be more than enough to make this quiche.

Pea, Pancetta and Cheddar Quiche 

Serves 6

Ingredients 

Pastry

120g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
60g Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Cold Water

Quiche Filling

100g Pancetta, chopped into 1cm pieces
2 Shallots, finely sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
200g Frozen Peas, thawed
3 Large Eggs
150ml Single Cream
10g Fresh Mint, chopped
100g Extra Mature Cheddar, grated

Method

  1. Place the flour in a bowl with the butter and the salt. Rub the butter and flour together using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the water and using a knife, bind the pastry together until it forms clumps. Then using your hands, shape the mixture into a ball and use up all the pastry.
  3. Wrap the pastry in cling-film and leave it to rest in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C Fan, Gas Mark 6. Grease a 20cm tart tin and roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry out so it is larger than the tin, lay the pastry into the prepared tin, push it into the sides, and trim the edges. Prick the base of the tart a few times with a fork and place in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
  5. Heat a large frying pan, add the pancetta and cook it for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown. Add the shallots and cooking for a further minute or two.
  6. Stir in the peas and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring gently. Set them to one side to cool.
  7. Mix the eggs and cream together, give them a good stir, add in the mint and the cheese. Give them another mix and then add the cooked pancetta and pea mixture.
  8. Take the pastry from the fridge and pour the mixture into the pastry case, level the mixture out and then place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.
  9. The quiche should be light brown on top, if it starts to darken too much, cover the top with foil as it’s cooking. Leave the quiche to stand for 10 minutes for it to set further. You can serve the quiche warm or leave to cool completely.
  10. This tastes great as part of a picnic, or served with a green salad and new potatoes.

Poppy Watt

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