I have always been a Francophile. Ever since I can remember. Perhaps it all began with the children’s TV series Madeleine. I remember watching episodes when I was young, soaking in the faux French accents and absorbing the cartoonish Parisian landmarks.
In school I learnt French as a second language, all the way up to university. Since, I have visited France several times. I especially love French food. My birthday celebration this year involved dining at a French restaurant.
To me, a quiche is the epitome of my childhood ideal of ‘French cuisine’. I have grown very fond of making a quiche in recent years, and once you have the hang of the pastry and timings, it is actually very simple to make one from scratch. And the flavour combinations are endless!
Gardens are rife with lemons this time of year, and I wanted to hero it in my quiche recipe. This quiche is deliciously lemony and tangy, with some smoked salmon thrown in there for good measure. I am loving this milder weather and think this is the perfect light dinner for early Spring evenings, and could even be enough motivation to contemplate an outdoor picnic!
For the pastry:
- 240g plain flour
- 160g unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup water
For the filling:
- 1-2 lemons, sliced
- 100g smoked salmon for cooking
- 200g crème fraiche
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbs capers
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- To make the pastry, beat the butter and flour together in a mixer using a dough attachment. Add just enough water to bring the pastry together into a ball. As soon as the pastry comes together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 mins or until needed.
- Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius. Grease a quiche flan with spray oil.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge, and sprinkle the worktop with flour. Roll out the pastry until it is big enough to cover the base of the quiche flan. Line the flan with pastry and trim the edges. Weigh down the pastry with baking paper and baking beads, and blind bake the pastry case for 20 mins in the oven.
- To make the filling, whisk the eggs and crème fraiche together. Season, and add capers, lemon zest and juice. Stir to combine.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and lower the heat to 160° Celsius. Remove the baking beads and baking paper. Line the pastry case with an even layer of the smoked salmon, and pour in the egg filling.
- Bake in the oven for 20 mins. Add lemon slices on top of the half-set filling decoratively. Continue to bake for about another 10 mins or until filling is set.