A Cheaper Coronation Quiche: The Big Help Out Budget Edition, 41p
When royal chef Mark Flanagan unveiled his recipe for the Coronation Quiche last Monday, I was delighted to read that it had been chosen by the King and Queen Consort due to it being ‘a good sharing dish, can be served hot or cold, suits a variety of dietary requirements and preferenes, can be adapted, and is not too complicated nor costly to make.’ I rather liked the sound of that, and various friends and news outlets sent me copies of it to ask for my opinion. I was particularly interested in the statement encouraging home cooks and those wanting to give it a go to adapt it to their own tastes and preferences. I love a chef who isn’t precious about their creations, and who actively encourages people to tinker with their work, and so, I set to work tweaking it to suit a very low budget brief. With absolutely no shade thrown on the original: I love broad beans and tarragon myself, but there are cheaper alternatives out there, and that is, after all, what I do. So with the apparent blessing of the Royal Family themselves and my friends over at the Big Help Out, here’s my lower budget rejig of the Coronation Quiche. And wherever you sit on the Republican-to-Royalist spectrum, it’s a cracker for a get together with friends and family, whatever the occasion may be.
Serves 4-6, from 41p each
For the pastry:
125g plain flour, 6p (70p/1.5kg, Just Essentials at Asda)
a pinch of salt, <1p (65p/750g, Table Salt at Asda)
25g soft spread, 5p (99p/500g, Soft Spread at Asda)
25g lard, 5p (50p/250g, Just Essentials at Asda)
2 tbsp cold water
For the filling:
125ml whole milk, 15p (£1.20/1l, Long Life Whole Milk, Asda)
175g full fat cream cheese, 73p (83p/200g Creamfields at Tesco or £1.25/300g, Just Essentials at Asda)
2 medium eggs, 35p (£2.10/12, Kent Co medium free range eggs)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (40p/18g, Just Essentials at Asda)
a pinch of salt, <1p (65p/750g, Asda)
plenty of black pepper, <1p (£1/100g, TRS)
100g cheddar cheese, 70p (£2.79/400g, Creamfields at Tesco or Just Essentials at Asda)
120g frozen spinach, 21p (£1.50/850g, Asda)
75g frozen peas, 8p (£1.75/1.6kg, Tesco)
First make your pastry. If you have a sieve, sieve the flour and salt together in a bowl, but if you don’t, don’t worry, just decant them straight in, it’ll be fine. Add the soft spread, and the lard, and rub the fats into the flour and salt until it comes together in a crumbly, breadcrumb-like texture. Add the cold water a drop at a time, and mix in with either a fork or spoon handle, or a flat-edged butter knife, to bring it together into a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly oiled clean work surface and knead briefly, for a minute at most, for an even texture, then transfer it back into the bowl. Cover it with clingfilm, or transfer it into a food storage bag, and chill it in the fridge for around 45 minutes to firm up.
Pop the frozen peas and spinach in a microwave safe bowl and ping for a minute on a high heat to defrost them. Stir together, and set to one side to cool while the pastry chills.
When the pastry has chilled, lightly flour your work surface and roll it out to form a circle that’s slightly bigger than your baking tin; it should be around half a centimetre thick and as even as possible.
Lightly oil your tin with the lightest of touches, and carefully place the pastry into it, taking care not to rip it. if any small tears are made – it can be a fiddly process if you’re not an experienced pastry cook, and I certainly am not one! – you can press them back together gently with your fingertips to reseal them. Cover and chill for a further 30 minutes to firm it up, then trim away any excess at the edges.
Heat your oven to 190C/Gas Mark 5, and line the pastry loosely with greaseproof paper, baking parchment, or tin foil. Scatter baking beans into it to weigh it down and prevent the edges from slinking into the base. If you don’t have any baking beans, you can use any hefty dried beans, like chickpeas, cannellini beans, or butter beans, to pin the pastry to the tin. Make sure you get them into the corners and the edges to hold the pastry in place.
‘Blind bake’ the pastry case for 15 minutes in the centre of the oven.
While the pastry case is baking, make the filling. Measure the milk into a mixing bowl, and add the eggs, cream cheese, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Beat well with a fork to combine evenly. Grate the cheese finely, and set to one side for now.
When the pastry is baked, turn the oven down to Gas Mark 3/165C.
Scatter half of the cheese into the base of the pastry case, then add the spinach and peas, carefully distributing them evenly across the base. Pour over the liquid mixture, and top with the remaining cheese. Finish with a pinch or two of pepper.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and fairly firmly set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing from the tin, and serve hot, warm, or cold.
It will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
For vegetarians, replace the lard with more soft spread or butter.
If you’re dairy intolerant or allergic, use whole oat milk in place of the whole milk, and a vegan or dairy free firm cheese alternative – there are plenty available in mainstream supermarkets these days, and most of them are pretty delicious and work very well. I like the Applewood Smoked vegan cheese, and Violife mozzarella – both melt very well and have excellent structural integrity, as well as being delicious.
All text copyright Jack Monroe.
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