Tag Archives: quiche

Ain’t Potato the Sweetest Thing.

2 Oct

As you can see, I have an uncanny knack for appropriating song lyrics. A high point (or low, depending on which way you look at it) was when my flatmate and I changed the lyrics to ‘California Gurls’ (sic) by Katy Perry and instead made the song about California rolls. We even proposed taking it to our local sushi joint so they could frame it on the wall. Look, it made sense at the time.

So OK, I might not be destined for a lifelong career in lyric appropriation (if there is such a thing) but I can show you how to make a mean quiche. And ultimately that will take me further than wailing at the top of my lungs about how I know a place where the sushi’s really fresher.

Quiches are so easy and, in their most basic form, only take a matter of minutes to whip up. The extra bonus is that they stretch for days, making excellent cold lunches. I was lucky that I had the time to make my own pastry but by all means take the cheat’s way out and just use store-bought shortcrust. The filling can be chopped and changed according to what you like and what you can afford. Ham, chicken, cheese, herbs, tomatoes and various other vegetables make wonderful additions. And don’t do what I stupidly did and spend $2.50 on a single sweet potato – use pumpkin as a cheaper substitute.

I can assure you that this quiche is so good, the club can’t even handle it right now. I really don’t know what that means.

Sweet Potato and Caramelised Onion Quiche.

Sweet Potato and Caramelised Onion Quiche

Serves 3-4 (for days)

Pastry:

1 3/4 cups plain flour

125g chilled butter, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp iced water

Filling:

2 TBSP olive oil

500g sweet potato, peeled and diced (or pumpkin)

1 large brown onion, peeled and sliced into rings

1 tsp brown sugar

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 TBSP dried mixed herbs

salt and pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, rub together the butter, salt and flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Add the water and combine to form a dough. You made need to add more water or flour, depending on the consistency of the dough. It should resemble play dough.

3. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. In a medium saucepan, place the sweet potato and enough water to cover it. Add a pinch of salt. Bring it to the boil.

5. Remove the sweet potato from the heat when it is just cooked through and drain. Leave to cool.

6. In a medium fry pan, heat 1 TBSP of the olive oil.

7. Add the onions and fry until soft.

8. Add the sugar and keep frying until the onion caramelises. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

9. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a 22cm pie dish or tart tin.

10. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out until it’s big enough to cover the dish/tin.

11. Line the dish/tin with the pastry and place in the fridge for a further 15 minutes.

12. Whisk the eggs with the milk and herbs.

13. Add the cooled onion and season to taste.

14. Remove the pastry shell from the fridge and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

15. Remove from the oven and cover the pastry with the sweet potato. Then pour over the egg mixture.

16. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake the quiche for 30-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

17. Serve.

Advertisements

Big Quiches in Little Paris.

6 Sep

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – buttery pastry makes the world go round. Actually, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever uttered these words. But fear not, dear friends, for the aforementioned statement is not an entire lie. I now have reason to say that, in fact, the annual complete revolution of the earth on which we live is only possible due to flaky, rich and sumptuous puff pastry making it so.

A while ago, a dear friend of mine told me about a little patisserie that has recently opened on Glebe Point Road, Glebe, with the promise of taking me there to try its delicious wares. Unfortunately various aspects of life got in the way and it wasn’t until last week (some three months later) that we finally got to go, along with another friend and fellow blogger, Eliza.

We all agreed that a patisserie was exactly what Glebe was screaming out for – sure, there are a few bread shops along its main strip, but nothing like the little piece of French cuteness that is La Banette. I believe the flagship store is in Avalon – in other words, a very distant trek – making a second shop a fantastic idea.

The adorable exterior of the shop.

Upon entering La Banette, we noticed the lack of dining space. My laptop became a makeshift table as we huddled around it on little benches. I’d estimate there’s seating for about six or seven people so advise takeaway or coming during off peak times.

However this was all remedied as we were struck by the awe-inspiring abundance of assorted sweets, cakes and pastries. There are the usual options like croissants (and its many varieties), lemon meringue tarts and eclairs but there are also a few less well-known additions: a creme caramel tart, different types of meringues and sweet brioche. Savoury options included rustic-looking sausage rolls, pies and quiches. There’s also loaves of bread which, although a little more pricey than your average loaf of Tip Top, are surprisingly affordable in comparison to those at other bakehouses.

The delicious display.

We decided sharing was the best option – more variety with less of that guilty feeling after devouring the whole thing on your own. And it makes it cheaper.

The quiches looked too good to pass up so we settled on spinach & bacon and Provencale (mixed vegetable) at $5 each. The pastry used for both was golden, buttery and absolutely exquisite. I would go as far as saying it’s the best I’ve ever had and without a doubt enough to make both the earth and my head spin. The top was crunchy and flaky, as it should be, whilst the bottom remained soft and smooth without being soggy. They were each enormous, too, making them wonderful value for money.

Spinach and bacon quiche.

The spinach and bacon quiche was my favourite – the saltiness of the bacon contrasted nicely with the mellow taste of spinach. The egg, cream and cheese mixture inside the quiche was perfectly silky and even good enough to change an egg-hater’s mind. Part of me regretted agreeing to share as I realised I could happily consume the entire thing.

Provencale (mixed vegetable) quiche.

The Provencale (mixed vegetable) quiche was also quite tasty and equally as superb in its pastry and egg-mixture qualities. It contained a generous mix of vegetables with tomato, red capsicum, zucchini and more spinach making an appearance. Sadly this one had been put in to reheat just as we arrived and, through obviously not wanting to make us wait too long, it was pulled out a bit prematurely. The inside was cold, making it a little less satisfying than the first.

Raspberry meringues.

A trio of creme caramel tart, almond meringue and cherry and almond tart.

We umm-ed and aah-ed extensively while trying to choose dessert. The range of options was enormous and having three different palates to satisfy made the job even harder. We decided on the slightly unusual creme caramel tart and almond meringue as well as the more common cherry and almond tart.

The meringue was unlike any other I’ve had before – the timeworn variety is usually a crunchy and tasteless mound that shatters upon first bite, but this one was a far cry from familiarity. The outside was still brittle and delicate and produced a few crumbs, but the inside was soft, fluffy and chewy. The flavour was a nice and subtle hint of almond.

The cherry and almond tart was pleasant, with fat bursts of slightly sour cherry punctuating the sweet almond meal base. It was nothing I hadn’t tried before but was still a satisfying sweet hit.

The creme caramel tart was the star of the dessert show – a plump and supple creme caramel atop yet another perfect pastry base. In between the two was the odd, yet surprisingly scrumptious, addition of a thin layer of sponge soaked in some kind of rose-flavoured syrup. I never would have though to pair rose with creme caramel but it worked oh so well – the floral sweetness of rose had a wonderful aftertaste.

Many apologies but I failed to write down the prices of the desserts. Most were in the $4 – 4.50 range, with the exception of the meringues and the mini-desserts (smaller versions of the originals) which started at around $1.20. When I visit again (which I undoubtedly will) I’ll find exact prices.

In total, though, we paid $18 amongst three of us. Only $6 for a tasting menu of both sweet and savoury delights and the best pastry you’ll ever try? If that’s not enough to convince you, do it for the sake of earth.

La Banette Patisserie

18 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

Ph: 02 8095 9688