How To Cook A Vibrant Vege Tart In An Aga Range Cooker
Thank you to Antoniafor this recipe, perfect for picnic season, high tea, and cold summery suppers!
Mediterranean Vegetable and Goats Cheese Quiche - This delicious, summery quiche is packed full of the sunny flavours of the Mediterranean. Cooking a quiche or tart on the floor of the roasting oven means that you don’t need to blind bake the pastry case or worry about a ‘soggy bottom’!
A versatile recipe that has been scribed and tested by community member Antonia, who is a hard working mum with two boys. Her recipes are trialed in her much loved Aga range cooker and devoured by her family, allowing Antonia to provide accurate tips and advice on how to make the dishes a success! Go check her work out! She is a country girl, happily surrounded by an excitable Lab, her dear husband, two boys and the Cotswolds.
You may need...
For the pastry:
- 175g plain flour
- 100g cold salted butter
- 1 egg, ideally from the fridge
- 1-2 tbsp ice-cold water
For the filling
- 1 red onion
- 1 medium courgette
- 1 red, orange or yellow pepper (or a mixture)
- ½ an aubergine
- 2 garlic cloves (skins on)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried thyme)
- 100g cherry tomatoes
- 100g firm goats cheese (from a log)
- 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 300ml double cream
Right, lets get cooking!
1. First, make the pastry. Sieve the flour. Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Lightly beat the egg and add to the mixture – using a metal knife, start to bring the mixture together, adding the water gradually until the dough starts to hold together. Bring together into a disc with your hands – wrap and transfer to fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
2. Prepare the vegetables. Slice the onion into thin wedges, the courgette into thick slices or semi-circles, the aubergine into chunky dice and the pepper into chunks. Leaving the skins on, press down on the garlic cloves with the back of a knife to split them slightly open.
3. Spread the vegetables onto a large baking tray with the thyme sprigs (lined with a baking sheet, for ease). Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Slide onto the top runners in the roasting oven and roast for 20 minutes. After this time, give everything a stir and add the tomatoes and cook for a further 10-15 minutes (check regularly to ensure vegetables don’t burn).
4. While the vegetables are cooking, remove the pastry from the fridge and use to line a 9 inch fluted tart tin. Prick the base with a fork. Return the lined tin to the fridge to rest.
5. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside to cool. Locate garlic cloves and squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins – stir everything together.
6. Whisk together the eggs and cream and season well with salt and pepper.
7. Remove prepared tin from fridge and tip most of the vegetables into the pastry case, keeping a few of the bright peppers and courgette slices for the top. Cut or tear the goats cheese into small pieces and dot amongst the vegetables. Then pour the egg mixture over the vegetables – do this slowly as this it will fill right up to the top! Arrange the remaining vegetables on the top.
8. Slide the quiche carefully onto the floor of the roasting oven and bake for 30 minutes until the top is puffed and golden with the slightest hint of wobble.
Tips for cooking these in your Aga range cooker from Antonia : making pastry in a warm kitchen can be a challenge, especially in the summer months! I have warm hands too so I prefer to make my pastry using a food processor. It is vital not to over-process though – whizz the butter and flour briefly until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency and then add the milk and a little cold water. Pulse very briefly – as soon as it starts to come together, stop and push the pastry together by hand.
Cooking the quiche on the floor of the roasting oven eliminates the need for blind baking as the heat from the floor cooks the pastry from the bottom in the same time as the filling takes to set. All range cookers are different – if you find the floor of your roasting oven burns the pastry before the filling is cooked, use a ceramic or pyrex dish instead. This will slow down the cooking of the base.
If you make quiches/tarts or pizzas regularly, then a pizza paddleis highly recommended. A great piece of kit which you can slide under the tart tin to remove easily from the oven floor.
Notes: If you are short on time, use a store-bought shortcrust pastry. You will need approximately 300g. You can make this quiche up to two days ahead – keep in the fridge. If you are taking it on a picnic – leave it in the tin to make it easier to transport. You can also freeze the quiche.