Ratio Cooking: Quiche

StorrCupboard is coming over all new-term and talking ratios.
As a veg-box customer I’ve got used to making quiche from loads of different things. Using just egg yolks for luxury, or an egg and an egg-white when that needs finishing up. Half a jar of roasted peppers and a few olives? A little bacon and loads of greens? Half an egg left from egg washing some scones & some cream from Sunday crumble?
Read on and find out how your small leftovers are the perfect inspiration for a quiche. Solving food waste and making something tasty all in one meal.

Quiche base

Simple

Buy a pre-made base. At £1 for one, I don’t find it great value and they can get broken easily. But, if you don’t have any type of tin or dish, you may need one of these bad boys.

Easy

A packet of ready made shortcrust pastry. Again it’s a quid. Again not great value if you don’t know how to make your own but this is still pricey. Those who want a more wholefood approach won’t be happy with the whole margarine element. You’ll need some sort of pie dish or tin; if you don’t have one yet then look in the charity shops, you can usually find them for a couple of quid.

Tiny bit harder

Make your own. Going imperial with your scale is where this is at.
For a 15 cm dish, you want 4 ounces of flour and 2 of fat. That’s it. You really don’t like imperial? That 115 grams of flour and 55 grams of fat. Got a great big lovey tart dish, 40 cm across? Double it!
If you’re buying Sainsbury’s plain flour at 50p/kilo, you’re looking at 6p of flour. 2 oz of regular butter will set you back 30p. So, about 36p, rather than a quid! If you’re money conscious but worrying about the environment, then try buying organic flour and a really good organic butter – this is also where your StorrCupboard & ratio skills can really come in handy. When I have rendered lard, I’ll use 1 oz of butter and 1 oz of lard. Using rendered lard saves expensive butter for another dish and adds a layer of flavour to my finished dish. , Organic farming is better for the animals and for soil health; some home cooking can make it cheaper than processed food.

The filling

How much egg?

Now, you can use egg yolks, whole eggs …
I’ve bought mixed size organic eggs for years and my cooking is fine.
The white and yolk of 1 large egg is about 45ml.
If you’ve made a big old meringue and you have 3 egg yolks leftover, you can make the most luxurious tart. If you have one yolk, well, I’d still work with two whole eggs and add that little luxury.
For this recipe let’s start with x2 eggs and x2 egg yolks. But you could always use x3 egg yolks, x1 egg and a little more cream. This isn’t rocket science or Vienoisserie, this is thrifty, budget and environmentally conscious cooking.

Cream

You can use single, double, whipping. You can even use slightly cheesy cream…
#THRIFTTIP
If you don’t already store the rinds from your Parmesan/Italian Style Hard Cheese, then start. Ideally, a couple of hours before you make your quiche, warm the cream with a parmesan rind, some seasoning and a bay leaf, maybe some thyme. The flavour from the cheese rind will GO TO the cream and mean you don’t have to use as much cheese. Woohooo!

Veggies, a little meat

The great thing about quiche is that you can shove loads of random stuff in there. Greens, roasted peppers, a little bacon. I suppose a slice of cold roast beef would be better on the side, but all of these work…

The total weight you want it around 500 grams cooked weight. If you have some cold, leftover greens, a few olives, a little meat – read on for some ideas about quiche fillings to clear out your fridge and make something from nothing. Check out the recipe for ideas and tips.

The cheese

You can use most cheeses here. Cheddar, Emmental, blue cheese, goat. Chunks of feta stirred through a roast pepper mix. A couple of slices of that not-amazing Brie you picked up or some crusty bits of blue.
The point is to use up what you have, and enjoy the mix! If you love greens and feta, then go for it. Love cheese and onion? The cheddar and onion is your friend.
You know what you enjoy eating, so start there. And message me with questions.

 

Quiche: Ratio Guide

Want to clear out the fridge and make a quiche? Here's your ratio guide to make a perfect quiche or tart from weird leftovers.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Keyword: cheap recipies, empty the fridge, no food waste
Servings: 4
Author: Ann Storr

Equipment

  • Scales
  • Optional: food processor
  • Mixing bowl
  • Small bowl and lid
  • Tart/pie tin
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking beans and greaseproof paper
  • Measuring jug
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • Frying pan

Ingredients

Either

  • 1 ready-made quiche base

or

  • 1 packet ready roll shortcrust pastry

or

  • 115 grams flour (can be, say, 90 grams plain white + 25 spelt...)
  • 55 grams fat (all butter/half butter half lard/margarine)
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

For the custard

  • 2 whole eggs around 90ml of egg
  • 2 egg yolks around 30 ml egg yolk; so a total of 120ml of egg, or thereabouts
  • 300 millilitres cream double, single, whipping; double with some milk added... slightly cheesy...
  • 1 rind Parmesan/grana Padano/Italian style hard cheese
  • 1 bay leaf optional
  • nutmeg optional
  • spring onion greens or leek top optional

Cheese

  • around 100 grams cheese Cheddar, gruyere, double gloucester, Parmesan...

Veggies and/or meat

  • 1 kg raw veggies onions, mushrooms, greens...
  • oil/fat to cook them - lard, butter, olive oil...

or

  • 500 grams cooked, leftover veg
  • up to 150 grams bacon/sausage/chorizo

Instructions

The custard - ideally a few hours before you want to cook the quiche/tart but ** not essential **

  • If you have a parmesan rind and/or bay leaf/freshly ground
    nutmeg etc, place them in a saucepan with the cream and bring the heat to
    medium. Season with salt and black pepper. After about five minutes and before it
    boils, turn the heat off and leave to one side/in the fridge overnight, if you wish.

If making your own pastry

  • Either process the flour, fat & salt in your food processor and then add a little water until it comes together in a ball. Place in the small bowl, cover with a lid (I just use a plate) and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
  • If making pastry by hand, rub the fat(s) into the flour/salt mixture until sandy. When there are no lumps of butter left over, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until the pastry comes together in a ball. Place in the small bowl, cover with a lid (I just use a plate) and leave in the fridge for half an hour.

Blind baking

  • Turn your oven to 220C
  • Taking either your ready roll pastry or your home-made, lightly flour your kitchen counter and place the pastry in the middle. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 10 cm wider than the tin/dish you are using.
  • Move the dish to next to your raw pastry. Either by nudging the pastry onto the pin, or by lightly folding the pastry into quarters, lift the pastry over the tin.
  • Gently push the pastry into the 'corners' of your tin. If your pastry is breaking and you are swearing, you can sort of squidge and wedge it into the tin. Just make sure to really push and squash the sections together (I’ve been there) and make sure to bake the tart with a lipped oven tray underneath… You can always use a little water on the pastry if it's really dry. Then, next time, be a little bolder with the water and add a little more.
  • Prick the pastry all over with a fork and trim off any excess. Cut a length of greaseproof paper and grease it a little. Oiled side down, place it on the pastry and cover with the beans.
  • Put the pastry in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sides are golden brown.
  • Once golden brown, remove from the oven. Carefully pour the very, very hot baking beans into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool down. Dispose of the greaseproof paper. You can either go straight on to cook from here, or leave to cool and bake the quiche/tart another day.
  • You can freeze excess to add to another batch of pastry, or let kids play with it, or make a mini pie…

The meat/veggies - these are based on dishes I cook a lot

  • Raw bacon or chorizo - around 150 grams: cut the fat off and put it in a cold frying pan to render. If using some leftover cooked bacon, just break it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Onions/leeks/shallots (or a mixture), around a kilo if using alone: slice into semi-circles. Put the pan on around medium heat and add 50 grams unsalted butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions and DON'T LET THEM BROWN. It'll take at least 15 minutes for the onions to squidge down, or up to 30-45 minutes if you want to go hell for leather. Make sure you cannot see any white. 
  • Greens (around a kilo): wilt in a frying pan and after about 5-10 minutes tip into a colander and then squeeze out any water.
  • Mushrooms: slice into 5mm slices and then cook in batches. Again, make sure all the water has evaporated. If you have a slug of red or white wine going spare, pouring that over the cooked mushrooms in the pan will be off the chart delicious.
  • Jarred/roasted peppers, onions and tomatoes: remove any peel

Cheese

  • Grate; if feta, into chunks

Now all the prep is done, get ready to bake the final tart

  • Turn the oven onto/down to 180C. Place a tray in the oven to heat up.
  • Once you are ready to cook, or after a few hours, strain the cream and discard the cheese rind (a strong jawed dog will thank you for the softened cheese rind).
  • Take the eggs and/or egg yolks and whisk into the waiting cream. Taste and season as necessary. Stir the cheese through.
  • If using spinach/onions, I tend to stir them into the custard. For peppers/feta, I pour in the custard and attempt to make a pretty dish by placing them carefully.
  • Place the tart on the waiting try in the hot oven and bake for between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on filling.
  • Check on it after about 25 minutes; if the top is brown but the middle is still very wobbly, you can turn the heat down and continue to bake.
  • It’s ready when the middle of the tart feels firm to the touch.

Eating

  • If you’ve used a loose-bottomed tin, you can release the tart by propping it onto a tin and letting the side fall down. If you’re using a solid tin or ceramic dish, just leave on the wire cooling rack until ready.

Storage

  • The tart will keep in the fridge for around 5 days. If you want to reheat, it's best to let the tart come to room temperature and then place in a warm oven until warm through. Don't reheat again. And don't microwave! The pastry will go all floppy and foul.

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