I love this recipe for Smoked Trout and Broccoli Quiche, being one I return to time and time again for a quick yet impressive lunch or supper.
As a rule, I am not a fan of Smoked Salmon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good brands that you can buy, it is just that they don’t tend to be in the main supermarkets. The better ones tend to be found in the higher-end stores and delicatessens where they quite rightly command a princely sum.
I much prefer Smoked Trout. I find the flavour and texture to be vastly superior to most supermarket salmons (even some of the better ones) – plus it is readily available in my local store. It tends to cost a little bit more than the neighbouring salmons, but the investment is definitely worth it. I substitute it in my annual Christmas morning breakfast of Eggs Royale, and snip ribbons of its coral flesh over salads and canapes.
Smoked Trout and Broccoli Quiche was one of the first recipes I developed myself. It was also the first meal that I made for my partner, so it is safe to say it is one I wheel out when I want to impress! Despite such lofty ambitions, the ingredients are quite pedestrian. I make my own pastry, but you can buy good ready-made shortcrust pastry from the supermarket if you so wish – just skip ahead in the instructions to the point where you lay the pastry in the tart tin.
Tradition dictates that I serve this quiche with a handful of rocket leaves, my Balsamic Tomato Salad and Garlic Chickpeas. It’s great any time of the year, but comes into its own in the summer when eaten alfresco with a chilled glass of white wine.Print
- 170g plain flour
- 85g cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2–3 tbsp ice cold water
- 300ml low fat crème fraiche
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 200g tender stem broccoli
- 100g smoked trout
- Salt and pepper
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and toss into the flour. Using the tips of your fingers, work quickly to rub the butter into the flour. I press the cubes between my thumb and fingers, lifting up with some flour and scattering back down into the bowl. Keep working until you have a mix that resembles bread crumbs. Use a spatula to stir the cold water into the flour mix, adding just enough until it starts to clump together before using your hands to squeeze the mix into a solid ball of dough. Pat out into a disc and wrap in a sheet of greaseproof paper before resting in a cold part of the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While the pastry is chilling, you can prepare the quiche filling. Whisk three large eggs into 300ml of reduced fat crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper and place to one side.
- Trim the bottom off the tender stem broccoli and carefully slice in half lengthways – being careful to preserve the shape of the broccoli head. Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully plunge the trimmed broccoli into the water. Allow the pan to simmer for 2 minutes before draining the broccoli and putting it into a bowl of cold water to bring the temperature. After a few minutes, strain the broccoli and lay each segment out on a clean tea towel. Carefully pat dry and leave wrapped in the tea towel while you prep the pastry case.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Take the chilled pastry from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of greaseproof paper. You want it to be large enough to line the base and sides of a 20cm fluted tart tin.
- Carefully lift the sheet of pastry into the tart tin, and trim off the excess with a pair of kitchen scissors, leaving an overhang of 1-2cm. Roll the offcuts into a ball and use to gently push the pastry into the fluted edges of the tin (I keep these offcuts in case I need to plug any holes in the tart case after the par-baking).
- I crimp the overhang to the top ridge of the tin to prevent the sides sinking down during the first bake in the oven before laying a piece of greaseproof paper into the tart case and filling with baking beans. I use some dried chick peas which I save each time in an airtight container to reuse for this purpose. Bake the tart case in the oven for 15 minutes before carefully removing the paper and beans. Use the left-over offcuts to plug any holes in the case before baking for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove the tart case from the oven and trim the over-hanging pastry down to the top of the tin with a serrated knife. Lay the sheets of smoked trout over the base to provide an even, single layer before arranging the dried broccoli stems over the top – in any pattern you wish. Finally, carry the tart case back to the oven before pouring the crème fraiche mix over the top, right to the rim. I find it easier to do this in the oven to avoid spilling the liquid down the sides of the pastry case.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top of the quiche is golden brown and the centre is set. The quiche mixture will have risen up and cracked but do not worry – this will settle down when you remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve while warm with salads of your choice. Any leftovers will sit quite happily in the fridge for several days afterwards.
Top Tip: the trick to making successful shortcrust pastry is to keep everything as cold as possible. For me, this means I work in a different part of the kitchen to usual as my dishwasher sits beneath my work area and the heat from the drying cycle can work upwards into my worktop. The butter comes direct from the fridge, as does the water. Try not to overwork the dough when preparing it, and be certain to rest the dough for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before rolling out to line the tart tin.
- Category: Quiche
Keywords: Alfresco eating, barbecue, barbecue food, broccoli, quiche, smoked trout, smoked fish