Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bits and quiches

 There were quite a few leftovers from the dinner I cooked Mum and Dad the other day. I had half a bowl of the veges and a fair few scraps of chicken. I figured that a sensible way to use these would be to make some wholemeal pastry (p80) and turn them into quiche-type things.

Wholemeal pastry is a variation of the plain short pastry recipe; you just swap the white flour for wholemeal, and add a little baking powder. Often wholemeal recipes have a bit of white flour as well, but this one's just plain wholemeal. I was concerned that this would make the pastry a bit heavy, but there was only one way to find out.

I put the flour and baking powder in a bowl with a bit of salt, then rubbed in butter. The recipe actually says to 'cut in', possibly because not touching it would keep the butter colder, but I've never had much luck with that method: I just rubbed it with my fingers until it looked like breadcrumbs.

I mixed in a little cold water, just enough to make a stiff dough. It had a better consistency than I'd expected from a wholemeal dough - I was able to roll it out smoothly without any difficulty. There was quite a lot, though: the recipe says it makes around 375g, but when I weighed by ball of dough it was just over 500g.  I'd planned to use my four little tart tins, but I still had plenty left over when those were all lined. I rolled out the remaining dough, making it just slightly thinner, and lined my pie dish as well.

There's no indication in the recipe of how the pastry should be cooked or for how long. I assumed blind baking before I put in the filling would be best, since it's a short pastry.

While the pastry cases were blind-baking, I mixed up a filling based around my leftover veges and chicken. I added eggs and cheese, though not as many eggs as I would have liked: I found I had only two in the fridge, so made do with that. When the pastry cases were ready, I spooned in my filling and bunged them back in the oven until the filling looked cooked.

My quichey things are nothing to write home about, but they're not too bad. The wholemeal pastry is quite a bit drier than a white-flour pastry, but it has a crispness about it that I like, and somehow it seems more substantial than plain pastry. It's a whole lot better than I was expecting, anyway!

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