Cheese and Asparagus Quiche
This piquant quiche makes a superb hors d'oeuvre. Serve it hot, while the filling is still puffed up and very light. The following recipe uses canned asparagus but fresh young asparagus can be used instead- in which case steam the spears until just tender before adding to the quiche.
Serves 6 to 8 people
- 6 ounces of shortcrust pastry
- 3 ounces Stilton cheese
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- 150 ml thin cream
- pinch white pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 12 canned asparagus tips
- Position the oven shelf above center and heat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Use the pastry to line a 9 inch flan tin and chill briefly.
- Line the pastry with a 12 inch circle of greaseproof paper or kitchen foil and weigh this down with a thick layer of baking beans.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the lining and beans and bake for a further 3-5 minutes until the pastry is set but not colored.
- Crumble the Stilton cheese, then mash it with the cream cheese until fairly smooth. Set aside.
- Lightly beat the eggs, stir in the cream and seasonings and beat together until evenly blended. Strain the custard.
- Thin the cheese mixture with a little of the custard. Then spread the cheese filling over the base of the pastry shell.
- Pour the remaining custard over the cheese filling.
- Arrange the asparagus tips decoratively in the quiche, fanning out from the center. If the spears are too long, trim off the lower ends to make them fit.
- Bake the quiche for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Variations to the Recipe
- Make a cream cheese quiche with herbs. Omit the asparagus. Use 3 ounces of curd cheese instead of Stilton and mash this together with the cream cheese. Stir in 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh herbs (chives, chervil, basil, fennel and sage are all good). Spread the mixture over the base of the pastry shell and pour in the strained custard. Garnish the cooked quiche with thin slices of tomato.
- For an economical family quiche, omit Stilton, cream cheese and asparagus. Finely slice 225 grams of leeks or onions and sweat in butter until just tender. Drain and scatter over the bottom of the pastry shell. Make the custard with milk instead of cream and pour into the pastry shell. Sprinkle 2 ounce grated Cheddar or Lancashire cheese over the filling and bake.