I was very excited the other day when I baked the following quiche. I felt I found the recipe for a wonderful crust. I made the crust with a mixture of spelt flour and coarse cornmeal, and it was like a marriage made in heaven. The crust was crisp and light, with a hint of heat.
If you like a crisp crust, this will probably tick all the boxes. The crust was crisp and not soggy at all. I had read somewhere ( was it in any of your places? ) that brushing the baked crust ( without the filling) with a little egg white acts as a sealant and prevents the crust from being soggy. I found my crust crisp anyway, but did try out the egg – white brushing bit, and I must say that it works wonders. As I did not use any butter, it was wonderfully light as well. With plenty of colourful vegetables, it needed little else for a complete meal.
3/4 C spelt flour or whole wheat flour
1/2 C of coarse cornmeal
1/4 C chilled water ( more or less)
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red chillies
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the filling- ( the following yields a little more than what’s needed for the filling, I used the leftovers in the dough for parathas. So feel free to reduce the measurements a bit)
1/2 C milk
1/2 C finely cubed red pepper
1/3 C finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red chillies
1/4 C of finely chopped spinach mixed with 3 tblsp of finely chopped coriander
salt to taste
- Rub together all the ingredients for the crust with the fingertips , except for the water.
- Add the water, a little at a time, till everything comes together in a ball. It should not be sticky. Do not knead at any time.
- Place the ball of dough on an 8 inch flan dish and pat it out to cover the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Make sure there are no holes. Prick all over lightly with a fork. Cover the pan with a plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil and add all the ingredients for the filling except the egg, milk, and spinach-coriander mixture. Cook till the onions soften. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach-coriander mixture. Cool completely.
- Pre heat the oven at 230 deg C.
- Place a foil over the lined pan and fill the pan with some dried beans ( I used chickpeas).
- Place the dish in the bottom rack of the pre heated oven and bake for about 17-18 minutes ( This cooks the bottom of the crust better). Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 4 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to the centre of the oven and bake for another 20 minutes or till the crust is dry and crisp. It will move away from the sides of the pan.
- Separate the egg. Brush a little egg white on the bottom and sides of the crust. Reduce the heat of the oven to 200 deg C and bake for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely.
- Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C.
- Whisk together the rest of the egg white with the yolk and the milk and keep aside.
- Spread the filling over the crust, till it reaches about 3/4 of the crust, up the sides.
- Pour the egg – milk mixture over the vegetables, till it comes to just a little below the vegetables.
- Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated ven and bake for about 30 minutes or till the filling is set.
- Cut and serve hot. If eating later, warm a little in the microwave.
The crust did need a little to and froing, but it was really worth it. It was as crisp as ever, and there was no sign of sogginess after the filling was added.
On the whole, this is a very easy recipe, and is not hard to assemble…just needs a bit of organisation. It also has plenty of room for variation regarding the filling. I have been experimenting with my crusts for a while now, and I feel I’ve found my perfect savoury one