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    Shortcrust Pastry 2

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    Shortcrust Pastry 2

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus chilling
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes, plus chilling 30 minutes

    Makes: Makes a 22cm quiche


    • 200g plain white flour
    • Pinch salt
    • 100g very cold butter, cubed
    • 3-4 tbsp very cold water
    • 1 medium egg white, lightly beaten


    1. A quiche is simply a savoury egg custard baked in a pastry case - you could call it a tart or flan, but quiche is more specific. Once you know how to make the pastry and the filling, you can flavour it with whatever you like, from cheese to bacon, broccoli to onions. For the pastry, shortcrust is perfect: it's easy to handle and bakes to a crisp finish. When making it, the key things are to keep it cool, and not to overwork it or it will be tough. Put the flour and salt in a food processor and whiz briefly to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, rub in the butter with your fingertips.
    2. Add 2-3 tbsp water. Process briefly until the mixture comes together in large clumps. Add a little more water if it looks really dry. It's impossible to be precise about water as different flours absorb different amounts, but you are aiming for a mixture that can be easily brought together into a ball with your hands, but is not sticky. Tip the pastry on to a board and press into a ball. Don't knead it; just bring it together so it's smooth. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
    3. Roll out the pastry until big enough to line your 22cm flan tin; use a rolling pin to lift it in. Press it gently into the sides but don't stretch it: this causes excessive shrinking. Use a sharp knife to trim the pastry edges, keeping the offcuts. Prick the base with a fork in a few places to stop it puffing up in the oven. Line with crumpled greaseproof or foil and weigh down with uncooked rice or dried beans. Put on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. This is called blind-baking; it allows the pastry to cook without browning. If you don't do this, the pastry won't be cooked in the time it takes to cook the filling.
    4. Take the pastry shell from the oven, and reduce the heat to 180°C, gas mark 4. Remove the rice and paper and return the pastry to the oven for about 10 minutes or till dry and golden without any raw-looking patches. It will shrink a little but this is normal. If there are any cracks, patch them with pieces of offcut pastry so the filling won't leak. Brush the egg white over the hot, cooked pastry. This ''seals'' it, so the filling won't make it soggy. Keep the tin on the baking sheet. Your quiche is now ready to be filled.

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    Kitchen tools

    22cm-diameter, loose-bottomed flan tin
    Rolling pin


    Average user rating

    5 stars