Tuna and tomato quiche is one of my favourite summer meals. I love quiches which are homemade and have plenty of filling and flavour. They are so versatile – you can eat a quiche hot for dinner or cold for lunch or a picnic. Or, when your family size has reduced, you can do both – hot one evening and cold for lunch the next day!
Although I’m not a great pastry maker, the pastry used in this tuna and tomato quiche is quick to make (5 minutes in a processor) and doesn’t need rolling out.
I’ve had a go at all sorts of pastry but mostly I find it too much of a faff to be bothered with. I’ve made plenty of shortcrust pastry in my time (the type used for most pies and quiches) but I find it’s a bit boring to eat and I could never get it to fit the dish properly or in one piece. I gave up on the grounds that pastry just wasn’t one of my things and a vague belief that I didn’t have ‘pastry hands’ (cold ones, I think). On the other hand, I’ve always felt that buying the pastry for quiches was a cop-out, so for years we didn’t have them. (I think it’s some sort of puritanical thing. Or maybe the spirit of my grandmother rolling her eyes at the thought of bought pastry!)
Puff pastry on the other hand really is too much effort for the end result so I always buy it. (Sorry Grandma!) I prefer to use an all-butter version such as Jus-Rol which is excellent for pies, especially a Luxury Fish Pie (coming soon!)
So what made me change my mind about pastry for quiches? Well, about 20 years ago I read a cook book by Michael Barry. He had a better recipe and a completely different approach to lining the dish, which didn’t involve rolling out the pastry. You just press it into a china flan dish and you don’t need to pre-cook it. Now, let me warn you, whilst we are not looking at soggy bottoms here, neither are they crisp and dry. For years I tried to remedy that. Then I had a revelation – it doesn’t matter! My quiches look good, they taste good and the pastry is cooked. They also serve easily – straight out of the dish. So if you are looking for pastry perfection, this is probably not for you. But if you want to make everyday quiches for your family, which are good enough for guests, and don’t take a lot of time and effort, look no further!
The recipe I use is for pâte brisée, a French savoury pastry which is a bit more forgiving than shortcrust. It’s stronger and I think it looks and tastes better. Details of how to make the pastry are here but once you’ve made it a couple of times all you need are the quantities.
So that’s the pastry sorted – at length I know, but maybe I need to convince you to give this a try! Now for the filling:
Quiche fillings can be a bit bland and often a bit short on the good stuff! That’s because the ‘custard’ – the egg and milk part of the quiche that sets – is the cheaper bit. Unfortunately, although those two things are both great sources of protein and other good things, they don’t have much flavour in themselves. So the options are to add loads of good tasty filling or loads of flavouring.
If you want a good, satisfying meal without additives, you need to bulk up the other ingredients. I almost always put a layer of grated cheese at the bottom of my quiches – even this tuna and tomato quiche – because it adds to the flavour but isn’t necessarily ‘cheesy’. I also add more tuna than a recipe often says. Basically, I like to almost fill the quiche dish with my filling and top up with custard to hold it all together.
I also like to add some sort of vegetable, like the tomatoes here, because I’m always looking for an easy way to increase our fruit and veg intake. Tuna and tomato quiche sounds like it’s meant to be – not as if I’ve just added something extra to a good old tuna quiche.
One last thought. Although this isn’t a particularly difficult or time-consuming recipe, as an Everyday Cook I always make at least two at a time. Doubling up the ingredients to make two quiches is no more effort than one. If you’ve got a couple of hours at the weekend (and plenty of freezer space) you could make four. Or you can make the pastry cases and freeze them. I’ve also often made the pastry cases one day and filled them the next if I’ve been short of time.
Tuna and Tomato Quiche
- Pastry case:
- 1 recipe Pâte Brisée
For the filling:
- 60 g grated cheese
- 320 g canned tuna
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Ground nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 250 ml milk
- 2 teaspoons cornflour (10ml)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 185°C fan/ gas mark 6/ 400°F
- Cut the tomatoes in half
For the pastry case:
- Press the pastry into the flan dish with your fingers or use a pre-cooked case
- Blind-cook the pastry case for 15 minutes, i.e. put a piece of baking parchment on the pastry and cover with baking beans (to stop the pastry rising)
- Remove the baking parchment and beans and cook the pastry cases for a further 5 minutes.
- Preferably, allow it to cool
For the quiche:
- Sprinkle two-thirds of the cheese evenly over the base
- Drain the tuna in a sieve to get rid of all the water. Put into a bowl and break the chunks up with a fork
- Spoon the tuna evenly over the cheese. Arrange the tomatoes in the tuna
- Season generously with salt and pepper. Grate some nutmeg over the tuna (or sprinkle 2-3ml if pre-grated)
- Blend the eggs, milk and cornflour in a processor or with a mixer and pour over the filling
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the quiche
- Reduce the oven heat to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4/ 350°F and bake for 20-25 minutes until brown on top
EverydayCooks Tips:Make-ahead tip:
- Make the pastry case the day before and keep in an airtight container
- Double the recipe to make two 24cm quiches or an18cm quiche and a 28cm quiche
- Cover in clingfilm and store in the fridge for up to 3 days
- Double-wrap in clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months