Trying to think of another use for the gourmet Italian sausages made a couple of posts ago, and in need of a substantial snack, my wife suggested making a quiche. Being a great lover of caramelised onions, I decided on a sausage and caramelised red onion quiche.
This quiche uses a wholemeal pastry case and parmesan for additional flavour. The result is not light and fluffy, it has quite a dense texture, similar to a tortilla. It is, however, delicious! Let´s start by making the pastry.
Preparing the Pastry (for a 28cm pastry case)
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 60 g parmesan, finely grated
- 300 g wholemeal flour
- 2 pinches of salt
- 200 g chilled, unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes (or 100 g butter plus 100 g margarine, if you are looking after your cholesterol)
- up to 3 tbsp chilled water
This recipe is to fill a 28 cm pastry case. To be honest, I couldn´t find a smaller one, but as the result was so tasty, I´m not complaining!
- You can either hand mix the ingredients, or if you have an electric mixer, use that, as it´s a lot easier.
- Pop the parmesan, flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then add the butter (and margarine, for the healthier option).
- Mix the ingredients until they resemble large breadcrumbs.
- Add a tablespoon of chilled water to the blend and continue mixing. If the mixture is still too dry, add another tablespoon (and yet another, if necessary). If you are using the butter/margarine mix, you may need a little less water. You are looking for a mixture that is soft and pliable but not too sticky.
- Knead the mixture for a minute on a floured surface, then place the pastry mix into some plastic film and put in the fridge until required.
Preparing the Quiche Filling
- a couple of large glugs of olive oil
- 4 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 300 g cream
- 4 eggs
- 300 g cheese (such as cheddar), roughly grated
- 300 g sausages (preferably home-made)
- Preheat the oven to 180° C
- Fry the sausages in a large pan on all sides over a low heat, until brown all over. Place on a large plate to allow to cool, ready for slicing.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge.
- Pour the oil into the same pan and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any crunchy pieces of sausage. Add the onions and fry on a low heat for 15 minutes or until soft.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and stir well. Cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the onions are caramelised. Set aside.
- Slice the sausages.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cream, eggs and parmesan then season well.
“Blind Baking” the Pastry Case
This step involves first baking the pastry case without its filling, but weighted down a little to prevent it from rising. The resulting quiche will have a deliciously crunchy, cooked case.
- On a lightly-floured surface, roll the pastry until it is large enough to cover the base and sides of the pastry case.
- Wrap the pastry over the rolling pin and gently place it in the pastry case. It´s quite a crumbly mix, so may break. If so, fill in the gaps with leftover pastry.
- Press the pastry down gently on the base, around the sides and at any joins. Prick the base a few times with a fork.
- Cover the pastry with baking parchment then place a layer of dried beans on the paper and place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and blind bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or a little longer until the base is slightly crisp.
Baking the Quiche
- Spread the onions over the base of the pastry case, then add the sliced sausages.
- Check the egg mixture. If it seems a bit too gloopy, add a little milk (not too much) and stir. Gently pour the mixture over the onions and sausages.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set. Don´t over-cook.
This sausage and caramelised red onion quiche can be eaten hot or cold, but is best served hot. For a lighter meal, serve with salad, or if you´re looking for more hearty fayre, baked beans.
If you are interested in making your own truly delicious, succulent sausages, take a peek at my Introduction to Sausage Making post. Once you make your own, shop-bought sausages just don´t hit the mark!