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An uncommon stroke of genius

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
One day, I'll write a cookbook, and this will go in it. I made it for Mum's quiz night, and after three attempts, it's finely tuned. It has a lot of processes, but there isn't really any urgency to them, you can bang it all out in an hour or do bits and pieces of it whenever you have time. I'd love to hear what you think of it.

Quiche with lemon syrup-caramelised onions and cheddar-parmasan, rosemary, thyme and onion pastry

The Ingredients
-To make 24, you will need:
Two fairy cake trays
125g cubed, unsalted butter, plus a bit more to grease the trays and a knob for the onions
250g plain flour
3 large white onions
300ml double cream
75ml (and an extra splash for the pastry) of semi skimmed or full fat milk
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 eggs
5 sprigs of fresh rosemary, about 4 inches long, and the same again of time.
25g of strong cheddar cheese
15g parmesan
1 lemon
1/2 mug of golden castor sugar
salt & pepper

The syrup
This will be used to caramelise the onions. You only need a little bit of it, but the rest will keep well, it's very marmalade-y, very nice on toast or even with earl gray tea.
Combine equal amounts of sugar and water (I don't have a universal measurement for this bit, I just use a mug :P) in a pan and stir until disolved. Cut thin slices of your lemon and add that. Bring to the boil, then simmer it on the back burner untill its syrupy and honey coloured - about 20 mins (time enough to start the pastry). Do with the remaining candies lemons what you will, they're good with icecream.

The Pastry
I hate boring pastry, so I've packed as much un-pastry flavourful loveliness into this as I can.
First of all, roughly slice the onions and put them in a very hot pan with the oil and butter. Stir often until the onions have a bit of colour on them, then turn them down to the lowest heat. Add a teaspoon of sugar, give it a quick stir then leave it to caramelise, stirring infrequently until golden and tasty- half an hour or so.
While that's all happening, combine the butter, flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Use your fingers to rub the flour into the butter, until you have a nice even crumb.
When the onions are golden, take two tablespoons of them out and into a bowl. Add three teaspoons of the syrup to the onions left in the pan and cook until chocolate coloured (we use these for the filling). Add to the bowl your grated cheese. Take four each of the herb sprigs, and strip the leaves. Discard the twigs and add the leaves to the bowl. Blend the contents of the bowl (I do this with a hand blender, but if you don't a food processor works just as well). Incorporate the resulting paste into the flour and butter crumb.
By now, the pastry mixture will be fairly wet and almost able to amalgamate. Add a splash of milk to get it there, and knead until smooth. Put it in the fridge to rest until you need it.

The Filling
Whisk the milk, cream, and remaining herbs sprigs (stripped as before) with some salt and pepper. Add a pinch of salt to the onions, and turn them off. Done!

Make sure your fairy cake trays are well greased, you shouldn't need any liners if you take the pastries out while they are still hot and soft.
Roll your pastry out to about a millimetre thick- as thin as you can make them without tearing. Cut into circles a centimetre or so wider than the diameter of the tins. If you don't have a cutter that size, roll the pastry a bit thicker, cut, then roll again. Press gently into the tins.
Once the pastry cases are in the tins, add a teaspoon of the remaining onions into each of the cases. Pour over the liquid filling, not so high that you can't see a small perimeter of pastry.

At 200 oC for half an hour until golden.


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