It’s this time of the year when the fresh markets have very little to offer in terms of seasonal ingredients, but a few vegetables are available – such as black salsify and green beans which I, whether rightfully so or not, very much associate with German cuisine.
So I decided to stick to the German theme when I made those ingredients the center pieces of my latest quiche by using smetana – instead of crème fraîche – as the traditional sour cream in German cuisine for the filling while getting the flavor-kick from matured Allgäu Bergkäse.
For the crust:
- 160 grams of strong flour (German type 550)
- 80 grams of butter
- 1 tip of a knife of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- a few tablespoons of water
- butter & 1-2 tablespoons of corn flour for preparing the quiche pan
For the filling:
- 500 grams of black salsify
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 300 grams of green beans
- 400 grams of smetana (Schmand)
- 3 eggs
- 200 grams of 12-month old Allgäu Bergkäse, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- freshly ground pepper, salt
Preparing the crust:
- Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto the clean kitchen counter or a baking mat. Cut the cold butter into small pieces into the flour. Rub the butter and the flour between your hands until you have a crumble.
- Add the salt. Form a depression in the center of your flour mix and add the egg yolk. Quickly start kneading the ingredients adding tablespoons of water one by one until the dough is smooth, but not sticky. Should the dough become too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Form a ball, wrap it into cellophane and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Butter a quiche pan and flour with the corn flour. Roll out the dough to a circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the quiche pan. Place in the pan and cut away any extra dough hanging over the sides. If you do not use pie weights (see next step), prick the bottom with a fork all over.
- Cut out a round piece of parchment paper the size of the bottom of your cake pan. Place over the dough on the bottom of your cake pan. Place pie weights on the top (if you do not have pie weights, you may also use dry foods such as dried chickpeas, dried peas or rice).
- Put the quiche pan into the oven and bake only the crust for 15 minutes (blind baking). Take the crust out of the oven and set aside. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160 degrees Celsius for baking the quiche (see below).
Preparing the filling:
- Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. Peel the black salsify and immediately place the spears in the lemon & water (that prevents the black salsify from changing color). I recommend wearing thin kitchen gloves for handling the black salsify as it is very sticky and gives off color which is hard to remove.
- Bring 1 litre of water (lightly salted) to the boil. Add the black salsify and let boil for 10 minutes until al dente. Rinse and wash thoroughly with cold water.
- Remove the tips of the beans, wash and blanche in lightly salted water for approximately 3 minutes (until al dente). Rinse and also wash in cold water until completely cooled down.
- Mix the eggs and smetana with an electric mixer on low speed. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Gently fold in the ground cheese.
- Cut the black salsify into approximately 2 cm long pieces. Spread first the black salsify and then the beans over the crust.
- Pour the filling over the vegetables and spread evenly.
- Back at 160 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 minutes.
- Let cool down a bit before serving. Serve warm.