Wild garlic can be foraged around the UK from late March to early May, when it starts to flower. Its delicate garlic aroma lends itself well to eggs, so I love to add it to our quiches at Violet.
Total: 3 hours
for the pastry:
140 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
85 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-cm pieces, plus more for greasing
2-3 tablespoons ice cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
for the quiche:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
200 ml heavy cream
115 ml whole milk
2 generous pinches of sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
100 grams feta cheese, broken into 1-cm chunks
12 wild garlic leaves, plus the flowers (if you have them)
1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or a mixer. Avoid over-mixing – you still want larger chunks of butter in the mixture, which will make the pastry more flaky. Drizzle in the water until the mixture comes together into a dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in clingfilm, then transfer to the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. While the pastry is resting, make the custard mixture. Whisk the flour into one of the eggs in a mixing bowl to make a paste, then add the remaining eggs and whisk in the cream and milk. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps of flour, then season with the salt and plenty of pepper. Set the mixture aside while you bake the pastry.
2. Heat the oven to 200°C and grease the base and sides of the tart tin with butter. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it out and press it into the greased tin. Line the pastry with a piece of baking parchment and fill it with dried beans or ceramic baking beans and transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and brush the pastry with the beaten egg, then return the pastry to the oven to continue baking for 15–20 minutes, until golden.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C. Fill the baked pastry case with the feta and wild garlic. Pour over the egg mixture. Place the quiche on a baking tray. If you have wild garlic flowers, scatter half of them over the top before baking and the other half over the finished quiche. Bake for 50–60 minutes, until the quiche is puffed up and golden, then remove from the oven and leave it to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into slices.
Reprinted with permission of Hoxton Mini Press from the book East London Food by Rosie Birkett & Helen Cathcart.