Now I live in the Home Counties and I’m a part-time stay-at-home-mum, I’ve been thinking I should really get into baking… this Tuna and Sweetcorn Quiche is a good way to get started. My mum used to make lovely Victoria sponges for my brother and I (and she bought even better chocolate cakes from the deli in the next town); these cakes are an aspect of my childhood I will always remember really happily. I used to lick my brother’s plate because it would make him totally freak out. Fun times.
I love to cook and do it often, but baking… not so much. I don’t like the preciseness of measurements of the ingredients or the fact you can’t really taste your cooking half way through. It’s never agreed with me, even moreso since the dawn of the twee cupcake and macaroon.
So for my first attempt at baking in my new kitchen I chose a recipe that felt somewhat like a happy medium: a quiche. Everyone loves a quiche.
The Ultimate Tuna and Sweetcorn Quiche
My first attempt at shortcrust pastry failed. I have no idea why this is as I followed the (Rachael Ray) recipe to the letter, and even started the day by driving out to John Lewis to purchase some brand-new digital scales. It was bad – flaky and dry and no amount of trying to fix it with water worked. I chucked this lot and Googled for a fail-proof Delia recipe.
I was so busy fannying around with my failed pastry that I also burned the onions. I NEVER burn the onions so was obviously pretty distraught. I blame Rachel Ray again, along with the addition of a new hob with a hotter flame than I’m used to.
My mood was saved by the next batch of pastry which turned out beautiful. Smooth and pliable. I guess just how it’s supposed to be because it tasted lovely.
But then I forgot about my spatula on the frying pan. It melted. Baking 2 : Alice 0.
My fragile ego was rescued somewhat by the need to blind bake my pastry case. I have never blind baked anything in my whole life before, and it made me feel really quite special. Probably because I spent a whole £5 on my new ceramic baking beans.
Look at that! I’m a baker!
After my pastry fiasco I didn’t trust that damned Rachel Ray and her quiche recipe. I knew I wanted tuna and sweetcorn (my Aunt makes the most divine tuna and sweetcorn quiche), I threw in some dill I had in the fridge and used a mixture of egg and cream to get a richer finish than milk may have had.
Look at that. I baked quiche!
It tasted surprisingly delicious so I offered it up to Elfie. This made it look not so delicious.
But she ate every last mouthful. And she liked it.
(This does not prove anything: this girl will eat anything).
So the final score was Baking 2 : Alice 2 (I gave myself one extra as the quiche was so tasty). Recipe below; I guess you could call it a cheat’s guide to feeling like a baker? It worked for me.
- 8oz plain flour
- 4oz fat at room temperature (I used butter)
- 1tbsp water, plus more as needed
- 1 small tin tuna
- 1 small tin sweetcorn
- handful of dill
- 1 white onion
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 150ml double cream
- 50ml milk
- salt and pepper
- Set the oven to 180 degrees C
- Start by combining all the pastry ingredients in a bowl; mix through with a knife, cutting and turning to make it cling together. Use your fingertips to judge if you will need to add any extra to the water. The dough should be firm and pliable but not sticky. All the flour and fat should be incorporated.
- The pastry now needs to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes - something to do with gluten activation. According to Delia this can be done up to 3 days in advance but who knows they'll want to make quiche 3 days in advance? Not me.
- Whilst the dough is resting you can make the filling. Start by frying off a finely chopped onion (until translucent, rather than black as above), which will take 8 to 10 minutes. Crack the eggs into a large bowl, season, then add the milk and cream. If you wanted to make the quiche super rich you can substitute the milk for more cream.
- When the dough has rested for at least 30 minutes remove it from the fridge and place on a lightly dusted surface. Roll out to a round shape with a rolling pin to a thickness of around 0.5cm. Pick up the pastry carefully, using the rolling pin to transport it if necessary, and place in your flan tin (mine is 25cm and leaves me some pastry left over). Press the pastry into the tin.
- Place a layer of baking paper over the pastry, and add ceramic baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and tip the beans into a bowl. Break up the tuna and sprinkle over the bottom of the case, and do the same with the onion and sweetcorn. Scatter finely chopped dill over the filling. Pour the egg and milk mixture over. Cook for a further 25-30 minutes, or until the top of the quiche is golden brown.