This recipe makes the perfect quiche for summer lunches or barbecues.
For the pastry, in a bowl rub the butter into the flour, parsley and salt. Add the water and egg yolk and mix with your hands until just combined. You want to still be able to see pieces of butter. Knead the dough ever so lightly; if you overwork it now you will lose the beautiful crumbly texture it should have. Flatten the dough out into a disc and wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a 28cm loose based flan tin with butter.
For the filling, dice your bacon and fry in a pan until slightly crispy.
Dice the white parts of the spring onions, and add to your pan with your bacon, fry for just a minute and take the pan off the heat, leave to cool. Prepare your asparagus by breaking off the woody ends and trim so that two will fit across your flan tin end to end. Take a speed peeler and peel the bottom half of each spear then cut each spear in half lengthwise.
For the pastry case, once rested take your pastry from the fridge and roll out between sheets of baking paper or cling film until the dough is larger than the tin you are using (you need it big enough to go up the sides of your tin). Line your baking tin with the pastry, pressing into the corner between the sides and bottom and all around the sides. Leave any overhanging pastry for now. Put your pastry lined tin in the fridge to firm up for as long as you can (10-15 minutes is enough). Take your tin lined with pastry out of the fridge, brush with a little olive oil and cover with baking paper. Fill with baking beads or rice (I like to use rice – it is smaller, fills the space into the edges better and smells nice while you are blind baking). Bake for 20-25 minutes. Once the pastry is blind baked (you want to get it ¾ of the way there so it is still crisp after the filling is added), trim off the excess pastry with a knife using the top of the flan tin as your guide.
For the egg custard, in a bowl whisk your eggs, cream and finely grated parmesan until well mixed. Add freshly cracked black pepper, as much or as little as you like (I like a lot!).
To assemble, take your blind baked pastry case, spread the cooked bacon and spring onions over the bottom; crumble over your feta. Pour the egg mixture over. Arrange your asparagus spears on top like the spokes of a wheel and grate some more parmesan over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the egg mixture has set. Once removed from the oven, rub a little extra virgin olive oil over any exposed pieces of asparagus. Make a salad with the rocket, finely sliced radish and green apple cut into batons. Dress in a little olive oil and fig vino cotto (dress your salad at the very last minute before you eat). Make a ball of the salad in your hands and place on the serving plate beside your quiche.
The Great Australian Bake Off Companion cookbook is published by Hachette Australia, RRP $39.99
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