Growing courgettes is easy and once they get going you will have so many ! They are best harvested whilst small and before the seeds form inside. This recipe is a looker but courgettes on their own are pretty tasteless so I have bumped up the flavour with green pesto and finely grated parmesan cheese. It tastes good !!
Start by making the pastry:
In a food processor place the flour and salt, add the chilled butter then blitz for a few seconds just until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running add the egg in a steady stream allow the machine to run until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in greaseproof paper or a beeswax wrap then chill for 30 minutes.
Place the pastry between two sheets of plastic, roll out large enough to comfortably fit the tin then peel off one sheet of plastic, fit the pastry into the tin and chill again. Peel off the second sheet, fill with paper and baking beans then chill again until the oven reaches a temperature of 190 degrees c (fan).
When the oven has reached temperature bake the tart blind for 12 minutes then remove from the oven, remove the paper and beans then trim the pastry overhang with a small serrated knife and then I brush the inside with beaten egg (taken from the mixture for the filling) and pop back into the oven for 2-3 minutes to set.
Take from the oven and set aside. When the pastry case has cooled a little spread the pesto over the base of the tin then sprinkle the cheese over and a grating of white pepper and salt.
To prepare the courgettes. Using a vegetable peeler take ribbons from the courgettes and roll these – not particularly uniform. Have some rolled tightly and others rolled loosely – just adds interest to your finished tart.
Starting around the outside and finishing in the centre arrange the little courgette rolls then sprinkle over a grating of white pepper.
Whisk together the eggs and cream in a jug, season with salt and pepper, add the nutmeg then carefully pour this over the filling. So that the courgettes are defined during baking it is important not to bury them with the egg and milk. I filled each hole carefully – time consuming I know but it is worth it.
Sprinkle over the chilli pieces then pop into the oven, turn down to 180 degrees c (fan) and bake for 25-30 minutes until just starting to brown. Leave to cool to room temperature before cutting and serving.
Tip: If you are afraid your liquid filling may overfill your quiche – fill it as full as you dare then bake for ten minutes by which time the filling will have settled and started to set, you can then open the oven door and pour in any you have left over from the jug.
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