You might have seen that following from the enduring success of Coronation Chicken, the dish created for our next coronation is a quiche. So, I decided to have a go.
First things first
I went direct to the primary source, without reading any of the articles about it, especially the one that claimed it had taken four hours. I had less time than that before I was due to present the result to the estimable Mr Pecksniff, so I pressed on regardless. It looked like a pretty straightforward quiche, and I was right.
I did have severe misgivings about the pastry. Firstly, the recipe calls for both lard and butter, which sent my eyebrows to my hairline. This is a recipe to celebrate the coronation of our admirably inclusive King, and yet his celebration dish contains a pork product. Received wisdom is that savoury pastry is best made with a white fat and I always used white margarine, until I found out about the environmental cost of palm oil – but that is a personal choice. Simply saying “fat” would be fine, especially as they offer ready-made shortcrust pastry as an alternative.
Worse were the quantities. The standard recipe for shortcrust is half as much fat as flour, but this requires a total of 50g of fat to 125g of flour. “Not enough,” sang my instincts, but I pressed on regardless. My instincts were right, even with more milk than the recipe said, the pastry didn’t bind nicely and broke up when rolled out. Next time, I’ll use 150g flour and 75g of fat.
A little hint
The pastry was the only problem though. I managed to roll out barely enough to cover the base of the dish so I used a tin liner. This is always a good idea with flans anyway, as it makes it so easy to get them out.
No more problems – except …
The filling was a doddle – except for a mistake in the recipe. It says to include the herbs with the milk and egg mixture; then says to add the herbs with the spinach. Being easily confused, I managed to do neither and discovered my chopped tarragon sitting forlornly on the side ten minutes into cooking time. So, I sprinkled it onto the half-baked quiche and hoped for the best. It was fine.
One of my guinea pigs said, “I’m not that keen on broad beans, and I’m not that keen on spinach, but that was very nice.” Others said it was delicious, and I concur.
And the person who really matters? What was the opinion of the Muckrakers’ Arms resident epicurean gourmet?
“The quiche is both rich and delicate, a triumph for Bylines’ own Mère Lyonnaise. There is a puzzle here, though. Given the Gilbert and Sullivan pomposity of British patriotism, and the way we choose to see our glorious monarch, it’s odd to decide he should be represented not by some dish of bloody English beef but by a quiche.”