Tuesday, 20 September 2011
Smoked Haddock and Watercress Quiche - Great British Bake Off
Seeing as it was the quarter finals of the Great British Bake Off, (Tuesday on BBC2 at 8pm- you can watch the programme again on iplayer – Great British Bake Off iPlayer Link) and that I had time on my hands I decided to attempt to make a Smoked Haddock and Watercress Quiche. Like the Tarte Au Citron I've never made a quiche so I was apprehensive in trying something new. I was very pleased with the outcome, even though I had the slight hiccup with the blind bake process.
Sometimes when I see an extensive menu I think ‘can I be bothered?’ as it's going to take a long time and it looks complicated. The instructions are fairly extensive but very easy to follow and this has helped me become a lot more confident about baking. I have followed the series and been reading the book and can honestly say that I will no longer cower away from baking as each recipe I have tried has turned out successfully (well I think so!) I would say that it has given me a boost to tackle another weak area of my cooking, sauces, but that is for another entry. If anybody knows of a good sauce book please let me know. If you are nervous or new to baking then the Great British Bake Off- How to Bake book is a very good starting point.
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
good pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
about 3tbl ice cold water
For the filling:
350g smoked haddock (undyed)
300ml full fat milk
1 small onion (I used 4 shallots)
1 celery stick, finely chopped
30g plain flour
freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, beaten
75g watercress chopped to the size of 20p pieces
2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan
1 x 23cm deep loose based flan tin and a baking sheet (heat this in the oven)
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Put in the butter, cutting into small lumps and rub in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough icy water to make the crumb mixture come together to form a firm dough. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pasty on a lightly floured surface and use to line the flan tin. Don't cut off the overhanging edges yet. Chill again for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Line the pastry with non-stick baking paper or foil and fill it with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes (once I removed the beans I noticed my pastry was not cooked, so I decided to carry on cooking without the beans however the pastry started to rise. So I had to put the beans back on top, push them down and had to put back the pastry back in the oven. I checked every 5 minutes until the based was completely cooked. Luckily for me the pastry was still supple and so did not break when I pushed the beans down). Once cooked remove from the oven and carefully trim off the overhanging pastry using a sharp knife, holding the knife at an angle and slicing away from you. Put back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
While the pastry case is baking put the haddock and milk in a pan (don't break up the fish). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and gently poach for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool (reserve the milk).
Once cooled, flake the fish into a bowl discarding the skin and any bones. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium pan. Add the onion and celery and cook gently until softened. Sprinkle in the flour and stir. Cook for a few more minutes before adding the reserved milk a little at a time, stirring well. Cook, stirring until the sauce has boiled and thickened, then simmer for 1 minute. Season with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove from the heat.
Add the eggs to the sauce and mix well, then fold in the flaked fish and watercress. Pour into the pastry case and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
Place the tin on the heated baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until the filling is puffed and golden. Allow to cool a little before removing the quiche from the flan tin.
The Great British Bake Off (How to Cook) book, which can be purchased from any good retailers at the recommended price of £25.