Recently, I have really felt a need to revert back to proper, old fashioned family favourites – proper cooking – the kind that Delia would approve of, and many examples of which you may find in an old, battered Be-Ro book. I would say that these types of thing are actually what I do best: stews, soups, quiches, pies, cakes – nothing fancy, everything delicious. I do get engrossed by what’s hot every now and then, and my cooking is influenced by everything from Deliciously Ella, to Rick Stein, with a bit of Ottolenghi thrown in too. But when it comes down to the bone, I am an English, slightly pudgy mum who needs to feed her kids without having a stress meltdown. And I’m guessing quite a few of you are too?
I think the whole ‘eat clean’ thing has kind of passed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ella, the Hemsleys and the rest of that gang, and think they continue to contribute a lot. But the initial frisson with which I met that healthy living world has faded a bit. Yes, I love courgetti. And gotta love sweet potato wedges too. But also there is quite a bit of room in my life for real bread, for egg and chips. And especially, for pastry.
I haven’t made pastry for quite a while. It’s fallen out of favour I think, what it being so… gluten-y! Sure, you could switch up the plain flour for buckwheat or something suitably healthy, but I just absolutely love a proper, homemade, full fat, white flour pastry quiche. It’s very English. And very satisfying.
We had this last Wednesday. I made it in the morning and it was waiting for us to enjoy a slice of after school, in between dropping Arthur at gym club. Wednesdays are always frantic – the dog rarely gets a second walk I’m sad to say – so a ready prepared meal is always a great idea. I may do anther quiche tomorrow. Wednesdays may now become quiche day. The great thing is that as long as you have butter, flour in for the pastry, with eggs and creme fraiche (or milk) then you can wing the rest. I have some leftover chicken and kale… who knows what I’ll whip up. This quiche is adapted from a recipe I provided photography for on netmums a while back.
The kids really like it too – well, Artie does. Bea is suddenly really choosy. What’s that about?! She was always the easy one when it came to dinner time. Oh well, a previously very fussy Arthur tonight proclaimed my Tuna and broccoli bake as REALLY NICE! You know what they say, as one door closes, another one opens…
Serves: 8 people
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 30 mins chilling time)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
For the pastry:
225g plain flour
100g butter, cold ideally
A little splash of water (3 tbs)
For the filling:
150ml creme fraiche (or milk)
1 head of broccoli, stalks chopped into dice and florets into 1/4s
Salt and pepper
- You’ll need a 24cm approx metal tin or ceramic flan mould.
- Make your pastry by rubbing cubed butter into flour until it’s breadcrumb like. Add water and bring together into a dough. Cling and pop in fridge for 1/2 hour at least. When ready, work it a little and roll out to line the tin.
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Pre cook broccoli until al dente in boiling water. About 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Mix eggs and creme fraiche in a jug. Crumble feta in. Add broccoli and season. Mix well.
- Pour in and ASAP put it in the oven. You aren’t bind baking so you don’t want it hanging around to go soggy. Bake for 25 minutes. Enjoy warm or cold.