Times flies when your having fun and Mr.B and myself have been having way too much fun. Can you have way to much fun? So much fun in fact that I have been a naughty blogger again and not written anything in ages. My very poor excuse is that we have been immersing ourselves in Swedish culture for a whole month now. We tend to go do something different every holiday season and this year was Ljusfesten (Lights Party). Bonfires, sky lanterns, the coastline of the island covered with huge tea lights and of course the obligatory Fika (coffee and cake). We recently found a quaint little cafe situated on the lake which makes the most gluttonous cakes I have ever eaten and it was here the party was set. If you come to Stockholm, try it out, you wont be disappointed.
But today is not about cakes, its about what I make when I need a taste of home and that is my mom the ever glamorous Mrs.B's cauliflower cheese quiche. Now I hear you say that so easy to make and I totally agree with you. But it was the first thing my mom made me when I first became a vegetarian and it reminds me of her panicking at the thought of how she was going to feed me. Now 17 years on she is a pro at making veggie dinners she even makes 2 Christmas dinners! My mom is definitely someone I aspire to be and I would love to have her wisdom and patience but I got her fieriness and passion for baking instead. Sorry I tend to ramble as you probably have already noticed, I get that from my always hilarious father along with my love of science. Anyway her first concoction for me was her cauliflower cheese quiche and when I eat it I'm transported back home to Ireland. Some days I really miss home but then I just put on the kettle, brew some strong tea and have a skype chat with my mom and its like sitting in her kitchen, having a laugh and cooking together.
Now this dish is a little different, its not quite a quiche and not really a pie, its more of a tart. I call it cauliflower cheese meets pie crust! I love the texture of the buttery, crumbly shortcrust pastry and the rich decadent filling of cauliflower, cream, cheese and eggs. The shortcrust pastry is my grandmothers recipe and her pastry was renowned so give it a try and see for yourself.
Makes 2 Tarts (14cm Pie Tin):
4oz Plain Flour
2oz Cold Butter
30ml Ice Cold Water
1 Large Potato sliced thinly
Cauliflower Florets (Large Handful)
1 Large Egg
½ Cup Strong Cheddar Cheese
1-2 Tbsp Cream
Salt and Pepper
For the shortcrust pastry:
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
- Cut the butter into small pieces and using your fingertips rub butter into flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. It should come away easily from the side of the bowl and should not be sticky or too dry.
- Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least an hour. This will prevent skrinkage when rolling.
- When rolling out do not use excessive flour as this will make the dough tough. The dough will most likely crack but you can fill in gaps when the pastry is in the dish. Cracking usually gives a good crumbly crust.
- Blind bake the crust for 15 mins until a slight golden color develops. Allow to cool before adding filling.
- Wash the cauliflower well and cut into small florets.
- Peel and thinly slice the potato.
- In a bowl beat together the cream, egg, salt, pepper and half the cheese.
- Fill the now cooled pastry case with the raw cauliflower and top with the thin slices of potato.
- Pour the beaten egg mixture over the cauliflower and potato ensuring everything is nearly covered.
- Finally take the remaining cheese and scatter over the top.
- Bake at 180°C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4 until golden and set.