Smoked Salmon, Kale and Dill Quiche with Sour Cream Shortcrust

Autumn is well and truly here. Last weekend, we swapped our summer duvet for a winter one; heavier and fluffier doona that showered our bedroom with feathers when we fluffed it out. For me, it’s not autumn until we change the duvet, and I can’t help but feel quietly excited about the colder months ahead. The truth is that I like the cold even when I complain about being cold all the time.

There are many reasons to love the colder months. Comfort food, for one, like warm soups, slow-cooked stews, hearty pies and crowd pleaser quiches. And it so happen that the best time to make pastries is when it's cold.

Let’s talk about this sour cream shortcrust. One word. WOW!

I have my go-to shortcrust that I seldom deviate from when I make quiches. However, I was curious about the Maggie Beer’s sour cream shortcrust and decided to test it out on the weekend. As you can probably tell, I was bowled over. The sour cream shortcrust is rich, buttery, crisp, and melt-in-the-mouth, like any good shortcrust pastry. But on top of it all, it is flaky too. This sour cream shortcrust is like a cross between shortcrust and puff pastry. Could it be the sour cream or my awesome pastry making skill? I would like to think it’s the latter, but it’s probably the sour cream.

For the filling, I like the smoked salmon and kale in big chunks and just enough egg and cream to hold everything together. So, you know, to make it healthier. Some might prefer it with more egg and cream, and lesser and smaller pieces of salmon and kale. I will leave that decision to you.

Smoked Salmon, Kale and Dill Quiche with Sour Cream Shortcrust
(Sour cream shortcrust adapted from Maggie Beer)

Makes one 20cm tart

Sour Cream Shortcrust
250 grams plain flour
200 grams unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
125 ml sour cream

1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic cloves, crushed
100 grams smoked salmon, flaked into small pieces using a fork
1 bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
3 eggs
80 ml single (pouring) cream
60 ml milk
40 grams finely grated parmesan
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

To make sour cream shortcrust:
Place butter and flour in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the sour cream and continue to pulse until the dough starts to incorporate into a ball. Flatten the dough into a disc, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

Roll out the pastry between two sheets of baking paper to 3mm thick and large enough to line 20cm round loose-based tart tin. Lift pastry into tin, ease into base and side. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. (I usually like to cover the pastry with plastic wrap and freeze it overnight. I find that baking the pastry when it’s completely frozen helps minimize shrinkage.)

Preheat the oven to 200C (or 180C fan-forced). Place tart tin on baking tray. Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and pour in dried beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden. Remove paper and beans/rice. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes to crisp. Allow to cool while we work on the filling.

To make filling:
Reduce the oven to 180C (or 160C fan-forced).

Remove and discard stem from kale. Tear or roughly chop kale leaves into small bite-size pieces.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add garlic and stir over medium heat until fragrant. Add kale leaves and saute until the kale has wilted. Remove from heat.

Place eggs, cream, milk, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Evenly distribute kale, smoke salmon and dill in pastry shell and pour over egg mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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