Sunday 1 June 2014

Roasted Pepper & Pesto Quiche

Last weekend was dismally wet, grey and overcast, the ideal weather for staying inside and baking. I had a mix of red, orange and green peppers in the fridge that I’d bought on a whim without a plan of what to use them for. Peppers can be a bit dull and almost bitter when raw, especially the green ones, so I decided to roast them, which transforms their bitter crispness into wonderful soft, sweetness that tastes of the Mediterranean.

To keep up the Mediterranean theme I combined the peppers with the rest of an open jar of pesto, which together made the filling for a delicious quiche. The weather may have been dull and cold outside but I was determined to bring a little sunshine into the kitchen for lunch.

I made the pastry using a little buckwheat flour. Buckwheat sounds like it should contain gluten, but it’s actually a grain related to the rhubarb family and is naturally gluten free. It has a nutty earthy flavour that some people dislike, but I personally love it. It has good binding capabilities, helping to keep the pastry crisp and easy to work with without becoming too crumbly, which can be a problem with gluten free pasty. A good trick is to roll out the pastry between two layers of clingfilm and then use it to help you flip and line the tin without it breaking apart.

The combination of intense basil pesto and sweet silky roasted peppers tasted wonderful and I loved its bright and colourful appearance. The pesto layer partly disappeared into the eggy filling during baking, so it didn’t leave too much of an obvious layer, but the garlicky herby flavour was definitely still apparent.

It made a delicious light lunch and brought hope of sunny days (hopefully) to come. It was also great the next few days to take to work. I can never decide if I prefer quiche hot or cold, both ways are good.

Roasted Pepper & Pesto Quiche
Shortcrust Pastry
200g gluten free plain flour blend (I used 120g white rice flour, 60g buckwheat flour, 20g tapioca starch)
90g butter
1 egg
½ tsp xanthan gum
1-2 tbsp water

2 peppers (I used a mix of red, orange and green)
3 eggs
250ml milk
½ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp pesto
8 cherry tomatoes

Roast Peppers
Heat the oven to 200C. Slice the peppers into chunks and place onto a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes. Give them a toss and roast for a further 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to caramelise around the edges.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the pastry.

Pastry Case
Have a 8 inch fluted tart tin to hand.
Mix the flours and xanthan gum together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, add your butter, (it should be soft, if not blast it in the microwave for a few seconds) along with half the flour mixture, the egg and 1 tablespoon of the water. Beat with a spoon or spatula to form a paste. (Yes I know this goes against all traditional pastry making!)
Add the rest of the flour and bring the mixture together to form a dough, switching to your hands at the end. Add a little more water if it seems dry. Knead the dough gently for 1 minute to ensure everything is well combined.
Roll out the pastry between two large sheets of clingfilm to the size and shape of your tart tin, plus an extra 1-2 inches for the sides.
Peel off the top sheet of clingfilm, and use the base sheet to help you flip the pastry into the tin and press it down gently. Trim off the excess and patch up any cracks with the off-cuts of pastry.
Prick the pastry lightly with a fork and place on a baking tray.
Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes at 200C until just starting to brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside. Reduce your oven to 180C.

In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk and a little salt and pepper. Dissolve the garlic powder in 1 tsp milk and add to the mix.
Spread the base of the baked tart tin with the pesto. Arrange the roasted peppers on top and scatter in some quartered cherry tomatoes.
Place the tart into the oven and then pour the egg mixture over the top, using the jug to help you.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the middle is set when gently shaken and is lightly golden on top.
Allow to cool slightly before serving. Also tastes delicious cold.

Makes 1 x 8 inch quiche


The Caked Crusader said...

A good homemade quiche is a thing of beauty and I love your flavour combination here - looks great

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

What a lovely fresh, summery-looking quiche Katie. I love roasted peppers.... Roasting definitely makes them so much more vibrant and sweet in flavour. Your pastry also looks great! I have not tried using buckwheat in pastry yet.... must give it a go.

Unknown said...

thanks ,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I'mnot much of a raw pepper person but roasted is another story! I love the sweetness from them! What a great recipe for when you want to stay in and bake but don't necessarily need another sweet.

Elle said...

That looks so good! Great way to use up the last of the pesto, too. Interesting process for the pastry case. You are such a great one for making delicious gluten free baked goods. Always learn something from you.