Recipe: Squash and pancetta quiche with a rye crust

I’m a big fan of quiche. A great way to showcase delicious flavours and textures, a quiche – albeit a retro menu choice – can form the centrepiece of a picnic-style lunch, accompanied by bread, cheese and salad. I made this one for a laid-back lunch with my lovely mum and sister earlier this week – it went down a treat! And yes, that is a giant slab of Double Gloucester you can see in the photo below. We are cheese fiends.

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I decided to combine butternut squash, pancetta and sage for this creation. To make things easy, I cooked the squash and make the pastry the night before, so the next morning all I needed to do was blind-bake the crust and then cook the fillings. The quiche can be enjoyed hot or cold. As my crust ended up a little on the ‘rustic’ side (still working on my pastry game…), I felt it was important to make the fillings look nice, so I arranged the squash pieces in a pretty sunburst pattern:

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I used a rye pastry recipe from Technicolor Kitchen, and adapted a basic quiche recipe from the BBC Good Food website. A bit like my pear and frangipane tart recipe, the method does look quite long – I guess that’s a tart thing! Despite appearances, this is easy to make and delivers a delicious result. A little preparation makes the final construction of the quiche a total breeze. It’s a very adaptable recipe too – the squash and pancetta can be replaced with whatever you like. How about ham hock and buttery sauteed leeks with some grated cheddar scattered on top, or kale and chorizo?

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Squash and pancetta quiche with a rye crust


Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTRY: 120g wholemeal rye flour
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 175g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp ice cold water
  • FOR THE FILLINGS: 150g butternut squash, cut into flat strips, around 10cm long by 2cm wide, and about 0.5cm in thickness
  • 154g pack of cubed pancetta, fried until slightly crispy
  • 3 eggs
  • 300ml double cream
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Optional: handful of sage leaves, fried until crisp in a little oil

Directions

  • MAKING THE PASTRY: you might want to do this the day before so it can chill overnight. Please note that these quantities produce two portions of pastry! Freeze half for up to a month if you like.
  • Put the flours, salt and sugar in a food processor and blitz until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Add the vinegar and 3 tbsp of the water, and pulse again until a dough comes together. Add more water if necessary, but be cautious as the dough can take a few seconds to respond to the moisture.
  • Bring the dough together into a ball, wrap in cling film, and pop it in the fridge for an hour.
  • After an hour, unwrap the dough, place it on a lightly floured surface, and roll out into a rectangle.
  • Fold the dough into thirds (like folding a letter), then roll out into a rectangle again. Repeat the rolling out and folding process twice more. Divide the dough into two pieces, then return to the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
  • PREPARING THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH: either boil the prepared squash until tender, or roast in a little oil for about 20 minutes (I roasted mine sprinkled with a little dried thyme). When cooked, blot with a piece of kitchen paper to remove excess moisture and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • MAKING THE QUICHE: remove the dough from the fridge and allow to soften. Lightly flour rolling pin and work surface. Roll out the pastry into a circle the thickness of a £1 coin. Lift into a fluted 23cm tin, floured side facing up.
  • Smooth the pastry over the the base of the tin to remove any pockets of air. Gently ease pastry into the inside edge of tin and against the sides. Trim the overhanging pastry so the pastry rises 1cm above the rim. Roll excess pastry into a small ball and use to press pastry into the fluted edges. Chill for 30 mins, covered with cling film.
  • BLIND BAKING THE PASTRY: preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Cut a large piece of baking parchment, then scrunch into a ball. Open it out and use to line chilled pastry case, then tip in baking beans with more against the sides, to support the pastry wall when baking. Bake on a baking sheet for 15-20 mins until the sides are crisp and set. Remove from oven and carefully lift the paper and beans out. Return pastry to oven and cook for another 5 mins or until the base and sides are golden and crisp.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Whisk the eggs and cream together, season with salt and pepper, then pour into the prepared pastry case. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove carefully and add the fried pancetta and butternut squash, and arrange the fried sage leaves on top if using. This will stop the fillings from sinking to the bottom.
  • Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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