Pea, Spring Onion And Smoked Cheese Quiche

I’ve churned out so many quiches this year I actually started dreaming about the things at one point. The other day (IRL, not my dream) a woman stopped me outside one of the payday loans shops on Stoke Newington High Street and asked if I was “that quiche lady”. She then demanded to know “when would I be making more?” which was nice and also a little bit weird.

I’ve had to slice production down to just one a week, but it’s really not that hard to whip up your own. It’s all about that all-butter and nigella seed crust. Sounds a bit out there I know, but those oniony black seeds compliment the fromage and sage so well, we’re talking borderline sycophancy. There are some gorgeously bulbous, pungent spring onions around at the moment which sop up the herbal vinegar like nobody’s business. I also like to add a shake or two of frozen peas for random bursts of sweetness. Add fragile pastry, juddering, smoky custard and the sharply savoury bite of the herb-roasted onions into the mix and you’ve got the makings of the most relentless quichey-bliss.

Once you’ve sorted your pastry (I’ve got this down to a 15 minute job) and roasted your onions (both of which you can do in advance) it’s just a simple case of whipping up your dairy products, filling up the pastry and sticking it in the oven for 30 minutes while you crack on with more important things.

(Serves  8 with salad or 4 very greedy people)

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry

125g (room temperature) butter diced

250g plain flour

¾ tbsp nigella seeds

1 heaped tsp salt

Cold water to bind

For the onions

1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ tbsp finely chopped sage

1-2 cloves garlic

Baking paper

For the custard

3 eggs

150-200ml double cream

100g smoked cheese (I used Applewood)

Black pepper

peas

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6 – for a good, crispy pastry base you can also stick a baking sheet in there to heat. Measure your flour into a large bowl. Add the nigella seeds and salt.
  • Rub in the butter until crumb-like and slowly add the cold water until it all comes together in a nice pliant dough (if you accidentally add too much water, just sprinkle in a bit more flour to absorb).
  • Drape a damp tea towel over the bowl and pop in the fridge to chill
  • Line a shallow baking tray with some baking paper. Mix the balsamic, garlic and sage in a medium bowl, and stir in the onions until well coated with the mixture. Sprinkle in the sugar and salt and stir well.
  • Pour the onion mixture into the tray and wrap the paper into a loose parcel.
  • Roll the pastry onto some lightly greased baking paper and place in a quiche dish, pressing the pastry into the corners and up around the edges. Prick lightly all over with a fork. Pour in some lentils or dried chickpeas to stop it from rising.
  • Place the quiche dish on the heated baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.
    Place the onions on a separate shelf in the oven.
  • Beat the eggs, cream and grated cheese together. Grind in some pepper.
  • Line the pastry case with the onions and shake in some frozen peas.
  • Pour over the egg mixture and return to the oven for 30 minutes.
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20 comments

  1. Wow – that crust looks like a thing of glory and great idea to add nigella seeds, Quiche Lady!

  2. The onion-y crust sound to die for! I recently made hot dog buns with fennel seeds, but have since tried them with nigella seeds and it’s such a delicious flavour. I’ve not been eating enough quiche this summer – you’ve inspired me to get my pastry hat firmly back on (its too cold to be in a bikini anyway – bring on the butter!)

    • gastrogeek

      Ta muchly! Those hot dog buns sound dead classy. Yep, quiche is the perfect British summer fodder isn’t it? Smashing stuff whatever the weather.

  3. I love the idea of nigella seeds in the crust and the combination of smoked cheese and spring onions sounds lovely!

  4. Heh, quiche lady, that’s so sweet!

  5. Oh, I don’t know, “The Quiche Lady” has a nice ring to it…sounds like something out of Monty Python.

    Anyway, great looking quiche you have there. I love quiche and it is quite the British summer dish. In fact, I am making one (sort of) right now, it’s more of a tart but still has a custard filling. I used Herbes de Provence in my crust and the filling is an exotic mushroom. We’ll see how it turns out.

    BTW, creamer peas are like black eyed peas in shape, size and flavour but are bright green.
    I believe they are popular and maybe even native to Texas. That’s the only place I found them.

    • gastrogeek

      Do you reckon?! Thanks!

      Your tart thing sounds fantastic- loving the herby mushroom combo. And cheers for the explanation, had never heard of ‘em before…

  6. Hello Rej…. oops quiche lady;) That nigella seed crust looks amazing. This is one quiche bliss I’d love to have a share of. Love the photo x

  7. Loving the idea of the nigella seed crust – I am absolutely addicted to the things. Nice one quiche laydee x

  8. At a restaurant I used to work at we would make baguettes to take away, and one of the bread options was this nigella baguette – it had caramelised onions in the dough and was sprinkled with nigella seeds. I think it was the single best thing I’ve ever eaten; the gooey sweet onions with the crunchy seeds. Amazing with some goat’s cheese and onion chutney. This quiche sounds similar and now I’m hungry.

    • gastrogeek

      By heck that sounds phenomenal Elly! All the sentiments of a very British dopiaza or something… love it.

  9. The Hungry One has sometimes spurted that ‘real men don’t eat quiche’. I bet this one would make him change his mind. Divine.

  10. Love the ideas for both the filling and the nigella in the crust. I have to make quiche every day at work which can start to leave one a bit inspiration free, so nice to see some imaginative quiche making to inspire me!

    • gastrogeek

      thanks so much, it all comes together really well. I hope you like it. Am really enjoying your blog by the way!

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