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Quiche with Gorgonzola and Asparagus

For the homemade fresh cheese mix together the milk and buttermilk in a glass or earthenware bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until the mixture thickens. This will take 24 to 48 hours.

Line a sieve or colander with a double layer of cheesecloth. Pour the thickened milk mixture into this and let it drain over a bowl for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. The longer the cheese drips, the thicker it will be. Discard the watery liquid (whey). Remove the cheese to a small bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to use. The fresh cheese will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

To prepare the pie crust firstly sift the flour onto your work surface and make a well in the centre. Into the well, add the butter, egg, and salt. Use your fingertips to blend the flour into the butter and egg until the mixture has a very coarse texture and the pieces of butter are about the size of small peas.

Add the water a little at a time, blending with your fingertips until you have a dough that you can knead. Knead very briefly. Shape the dough into a thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Remove the asparagus, drain, and let cool slightly. Cut into 5cm/2in pieces and set aside.

Line a 25cm/10in porcelain pie plate or a deep tart pan with a removable bottom with the dough. Trim and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom all over with a fork and line the dough with a sheet of aluminium foil. Fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights to keep the dough flat and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400°F. Bake the pastry for 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and foil and bake for another 10 minutes. The crust should be set (cooked half way through) but not browned. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.

Reduce the oven heat to 180°C/gas mark 4/350°F.

Mix together the fresh cheese and Gorgonzola (or Roquefort) either in a food processor or in a mixing bowl with a fork. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Stir in the chives and pepper. The Gorgonzola or Roquefort is usually salty enough to flavour the whole dish.

Arrange the asparagus over the bottom of the pie crust and pour the cheese mixture over it. Bake until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the quiche set for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve while still warm.

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– Ingredients –

1lb asparagus, peeled and tied in a bundle with kitchen string 450g
basic Flemish pie crust
1 1/3cups homemade fresh cheese
1/2lb Gorgonzola or Roquefort cheese 255g
2 large eggs
1tbsp finely minced fresh chives
freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Flemish pie crust
2cups all-purpose flour 8oz/225g
8tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick), chilled and cut into small cubes
1 large egg
1/2tsp salt
1/3cup ice-cold water 3floz/100ml

For the homemade fresh cheese
4cups milk 2pt/1.2l
1cup buttermilk 1/2pt/280ml

– Author –

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