Courgette, Goats Cheese and Mint Quiche
I have begun the new year afresh, with some beautiful, brightly-flavoured mini quiches. During the winter, I am always looking for different lunch ideas, away from soup and sandwiches. This recipe is fresh and wholesome, bringing a little bit of warmth to these cold winter months.
I have borrowed Camilla Stephen's parmesan shortcrust pastry recipe because I love the extra saltiness and rich flavour the hard cheese gives to the pastry. The pastry's not just a case to show off the wonderfully creamy filling, it has a merit of its own. I know I would be critiqued on Bake-Off for the rustic edges to my quichelets because I have not blind-baked them and then removed the crusts. But this is a quick, simple and reliable way of making quiches pastry cases, without a soggy bottom.
Makes 4 - Medium-sized ramekins
For the base (Recipe by Camilla Stephens - Higgidy):
- 125g plain flour
- 50g butter
- 30 parmesan/grand padano (grated)
- 1 medium egg
- Flour, for dusting
For the filling:
- 2 medium eggs (lightly beaten)
- 125ml double cream
- 1 medium courgette (approx. 200g, grated)
- 150g soft goats cheese (diced into small pieces)
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped and crushed)
- 4 spring onions (finely sliced)
- Handful of mint leaves (finely chopped)
- To make the base: Use your fingertips or a blender to combine the flour, butter and parmesan until the mixture has a breadcrumb consistency. Add the egg and 1 tsp of cold water (you may need a drop more). Pulse the mixture/use your hands to form a ball of dough. Flatten the dough slightly, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After chilling, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until you can just about see the surface through it. Line each of your ramekins and prick the bottom of each with a fork (being careful not to put holes all the way through the pastry case). Chill again for a further 30 minutes.
- Set the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan).
- To make the filling: Stir together the cream and beaten eggs, before adding 125g of the goats cheese (setting the other 25g aside) and the rest of the ingredients. Season generously.
- Remove the ramekins from the freezer and fill each one equally using a ladle. (This will help to spread the lumpier parts of the filling amongst the ramekins). Add a few pieces of the remaining goats cheese to each quichelet. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until gold brown.