Roasted Cauliflower QuichePosted: June 20, 2015
The recipe this week is actually one I made on Week 2 of The Great British Bake Off, and is in response to a request from a blog reader. I thought the recipe was already online somewhere, but it seems not.
With a 2-hour time limit, the brief was for ” a large quiche with a savoury flavoured pastry” and, as a Signature Bake, the other criteria were for it to be:
- something that showcases your personality, creative flair and baking ability
- a favourite tried and tested home recipe
- well presented and original
Consequently, I made a point of making my version of this seemingly simple combination of cauliflower, eggs, cheese and pastry a little treasure trove of unexpected details and flavours, not all of which were picked up on by the judges, but for posterity’s sake, I’m going to list them here:
- Suet pastry flavoured with caraway and cheese. Yes, suet can be used for regular pastry as well as the boiled/steamed variety. Made with commercially prepared suet, it is much quicker and easier to prepare than other types of pastry: everything is mixed in a bowl and stirred together with cold water until a paste is formed – rather like making a stiff scone mixture. Fresh breadcrumbs and baking powder add lightness and the caraway seeds pair well with the cheese. The result is very light and crisp. Obviously the suet makes it non-vegetarian, but vegetable suet is available, if preferred.
- Cauliflower: roasted in the oven to give touches of deep, rich caramel to the naturally sweet and delicate flavour.
- Onions: slowly caramelised in oil to intensify both the flavour and sweetness.
- Mustard: brushed over the blind-baked pastry to bring a little zing amongst the richness of the cheese and eggs.
- Cheese: A mixture of grated Gruyère and Parmesan – Gruyère for meltiness (What? That is SO a word!) and nuttiness, Parmesan for a big wallop of cheesey flavour.
- Crème fraîche: Selecting the low-fat version is both less rich than the traditional double cream, and the slight tang also helps cut through the richness of the cheese to give the cooked quiche a much fresher-tasting bite.
Soggy Bottom Rescue
Sometimes, despite all your best precautions (see below), the pastry does not stand up well to the deluge of wet filling. Coupled with the cooler oven used to just ‘set’ the quiche, whilst the edges of your tart might be crisp and golden, the underside might turn out to be soft and doughy. There IS a remedy, and one which I should have employed in the Bake Off, but I recall that at the time, the remaining cooking time being a bit tight, so I didn’t and paid the price in the form of Mary Berry’s ‘disappointed’ face.
If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t despair, do the following:
- Allow your quiche to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- Lift the rack up and check the underside.
- If it’s not cooked to your satisfaction, slide the quiche onto a piece of baking parchment.
- Put a large, heavy frying pan over a medium low heat.
- Lift the quiche using the baking parchment and put the whole thing, parchment included, into the frying pan.
- Allow the heat to bake the bottom of the quiche until crisp and golden. You will need to lift the tart out in order to check – don’t try lifting the edge whilst in the pan as you run the risk of the pastry breaking. If not done, simply place it back into the pan for a few more minutes.
- The pastry will not stick to the pan, because of the parchment. The low heat will also keep it from scorching.
- When crisped, simply transfer the quiche back to the cooling rack using the parchment, and then slide the parchment from underneath and allow to cool as normal.
Roasted Cauliflower Quiche
200g self-raising flour
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tsp caraway seeds
iced water to mix
beaten egg for glazing
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions
1-2 tablespoons mustard – Dijon, wholegrain, whatever you like best
3 large eggs
200ml low fat crème fraiche
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Whole nutmeg for grating
100g grated Gruyère cheese
75g grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over low heat.
- Chop onions and add to pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook until onion is caramelised and a deep golden brown, stirring occasionally (about 40 minutes).
- Put a baking sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven; preheat to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- Toss cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large bowl. Spread on large rimmed baking sheet, spacing apart. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast 15 minutes; Turn florets over. Continue roasting until tender, about 15 minutes longer. Set aside
- Line a large quiche or tart tin with baking parchment.
- Mix together all the pastry ingredients.
- Stir in enough water to make a firm but not sticky dough. Roll out and line the quiche tin.
- Line the inside with parchment and fill with beans or rice.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the parchment and filling and bake for a further 5 minutes.
- Brush the inside of the pastry with beaten egg and bake for a final 3-4 minutes. The egg glaze will form a barrier between the filling and the pastry and help keep the pastry from becoming sodden.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C, 140°C Fan. Put a baking sheet into the oven to get hot.
- Brush the inside of the pastry with the mustard. If you’re a fan, you could even use English mustard, but it is very fiery indeed, especially if you’re not expecting it. Equally ‘surprising’ would be horseradish or wasabi – but do warn people before letting them take a bite!
- Sprinkle over a layer of caramelised onions.
- Arrange the roasted cauliflower florets evenly.
- Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour into the pastry case. Jiggle the tin a little to make sure the liquid gets into all the nooks and crannies. You can also – carefully – drop the tin onto the worktop from a height of 5-6cm to get rid of any air pockets.
- Put the tin onto the heated baking sheet and bake until tart is golden and almost set (still jiggly) in the middle, about 25-30 minutes.
- Transfer to rack; cool.