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vegetable -  quiche bases

 

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Quiche Bases

Here is the classic pastry base for quiches and several others too, such as rice, bread/cracker, bread, a typical German fresh cheese base and oatmeal.  These have either no butter or a very low amount - delicious varieties with less or no fat!  Each base is enough for a 23-25 cm. quiche pan.  Or you can use a traditional base of bread dough.  To prevent a soggy base, beat a little egg white to loosen and paint the bottom and sides of the base before filling.

 

 Basic Pastry Base    Oatmeal Base   Bread Base   Crumb Base    

Fresh Cheese Base    Rice Base

 

Basic Pastry Base

Important for any pastry, is never to knead the dough longer than a few minutes.  Just enough to soften it.

For a 25-28 cm. diameter quiche pan

200 g. flour  

80-100 g. butter

1 sm. egg or 1 yolk and a little water

a good pinch of salt

5-6 T. cold milk or water

 

Cut the cold butter into small pieces into a small bowl.  Add the egg and work to a homogenous mass with a fork.  In a large bowl, mix the salt with the flour and make a large well in the center.  Pour the egg/butter mass into the middle with 5 T. of cold milk.  Starting in the center, stir with a fork, drawing in more and more of the flour.  If it seems too dry when most of the flour is worked in, add another tablespoon of water and work into the dough.  Form into a ball, drop onto a floured surface and knead briefly.  Flatten the ball, wrap in plastic wrap and if the kitchen is warm, chill for 30 minutes.  If the kitchen is cool, just set aside.  Remove, allow to come to almost room temperature and roll out on a lightly floured surface.  Lay over the lightly buttered quiche pan evenly and press into the form.  Remove excess dough and prick the bottom in several places with a fork.  Blind bake in a medium hot oven for 12-15 minutes (carefully lay a large sheet of baking paper and fill with dried beans or similar to keep the dough flat).  Version:  half whole wheat and half flour.  Depending on flour, you may have to increase the liquid a little.

 

Oatmeal Base

Use the Basic Pastry recipe, but use half white or whole wheat flour and half quick oatmeal ground finely and use 100 g. butter.  Best with hardy fillings.

 

Bread Base

Save about 250-300 g. of white bread dough the next time you bake bread.   Or use your favourite white bread recipe and make two quiches (one to freeze) or use about half of it for the quiche, making a small loaf of bread with the other.  After the dough has risen once, punch down, knead a little and roll or pat into a shape slightly larger than the quiche pan.  Place in a lightly buttered form and shape an edge.  Either spread or fill with a not too thin filling.  A typical 'country style' is to pull the dough into a round or oval shape with a good edge.  Spread with crème fraîche and add other ingredients such as onion, bacon, pieces of sausage, cheese, herbs, minced vegetables.  Bake at 200° C. in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes.  This type of base is the German equivalent of the Italian pizza.  Season topping well with pepper and nutmeg.

 

Crumb Base

Any crumbs will do or combination.  Use up to 1/3 ground oatmeal if you like.  Crush or use the hard cheese grinder attachment of a food processor to make crumbs out of bland water biscuits (crackers), graham digestive biscuits.  To estimate the amount needed, place crumbs in the quiche pan and smooth out to create the base and sides.  Place in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon butter and rub with the crumbs until a fine crumble, adding a little more butter as needed.  Butter the quiche pan well with soft butter, add the crumbs and press into the pan to create the base and edge.    Tip:  if using bread crumbs use those made without the crust.  Sometimes I have used a little slightly beaten egg white and worked it in after the butter.  This will create a larger, moist crumble and is easier to control when you press it into the form.  This is a good, thin crust to make with time is short.  Not my favourite, but will do to serve as a casing for a great quiche filling!  Pre-bake for 12 minutes or so without the dried beans.

 

Fresh Cheese Base (Quark Base)

This type of base is typical of the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) region of Germany for the quiches made there.  It is quick and easy.  Use for hardy Speckkuchen (bacon or pork belly and crème fraîche quiche).  This type of traditional base is best for fillings that are not thin or runny.   See recipe for the Swabian Quiche, typical of the Black Forest area in Germany in the Recipe Collection.  Base:  250 g. flour, 250 g. soft butter (I use 175-200g,) 250 g. quark or other fresh cheese or cottage cheese rubbed through a sieve.  Mix with a mixer until blended.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.  Line the bottom of a a lightly buttered quiche pan with baking paper and line with the dough, using a wet spatula.  Form a good edge and fill.  Bake according to quiche instructions.  This type of dough is very rich.  It is also an excellent sweet base, topped with sugared fruit then baked.

 

Rice Base

This is perhaps the easiest one and one of my favourites.  Because there is no fat in it, it is a good choice for those who would rather spare the fats (cream, cheese etc.)  for the filling.  All you need is about 300 g. of cooked rice (+-2 cups).  Any rice without pieces of meat or vegetable will so (or remove them).  My plain white rice - unless I am serving an Asian type dish - start off with a little sautéd chopped onion and I usually cook it with broth or half broth and half water and of course salt.  Herbal rice dishes are also good, just consider the quiche's ingredients.  Saffron rice not only tastes good but is pretty as well.

 

To make the base, you will need the beaten white of an egg (use the yolk in the quiche) and perhaps a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese as a further seasoning.  Mix together with a fork and using wet fingers, press a little firmly into a well buttered quiche form (use a pastry brush and softened butter).  Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C. for at least 12 minutes, up to 10 minutes longer for a firmer crust.  This base is firm, but pliable.   For the Artichoke and Leek quiche, I added the zest of half a lemon - the secret ingredient of this quiche.  Best with mostly vegetable based or cheese quiches.

 

Related article:  Zee Keesh! or The Quiche and I  history, info, tips

 

 

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