Before becoming an EVOO convert I usually bought pastry because it tasted good and I couldn’t be bothered making it. Now however my favourite pastry is even easier than buying it; Judy Ridgway’s Shortcrust Pastry as featured in her book The Olive Oil Diet (co-authored with Dr. Simon Poole). This is so ridiculously easy that it barely counts as a ‘recipe’ but here goes:
Place 225g self-raising flour and 75g plain flour into a bowl. Pour in 100ml extra virgin olive oil and 100ml water. Stir together with a spoon before bringing together with your hands to form a large, soft ball. Cut the ball in half and wrap each portion in clingfilm. I freeze one and chill the other in the fridge for an hour before using. This makes about 475g of pastry.
Judy warns that this is ‘perhaps a little harder to work with’ than other pastry and I would say – don’t even bother looking for your rolling pin, flatten the pastry by hand, straight into the tin if you’re using it to line, or onto some greaseproof paper if you’re using the pastry as a topping.
450g onions, peeled and sliced thinly
150ml single cream
1 egg, beaten
A big pinch of ground mixed spice (or cinnamon, nutmeg or dried tarragon)
Finely chopped fresh herbs if you’ve got some to use up (I used parsley)
- Fry the onions gently for 25-30 minutes until very soft and a golden colour. Remove from the heat. Add the beaten egg to the cream then add the mixed spice, a little salt & pepper.
- Put the onions into the flan case then pour on the cream/egg mixture and sprinkle with fresh herbs if using.
- Bake at 180C/Gas mark 4 for about 30 minutes until the filling is set.
- Serve warm or cold with a selection of salads.
I halved some tomatoes (the cheap salad tomatoes that don’t have much flavour work perfectly well), sprinkled with EVOO, a crushed clove of garlic and herbs and baked alongside the quiche. You can pour some balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes once roasted if you like.
One of the things I love about this pastry – apart from it being super simple to make and healthy with all that lovely EVOO – is that once baked it goes crispy and even the slightly thicker bits (think rustic rather than high end patisserie here) are almost scone like – i.e. no soggy pastry anywhere in sight (which I loathe by the way). If you know you’re going to be using all your pastry for savoury dishes you could maybe add a pinch of salt to the flour when making – up to you!
Que aproveche – Enjoy!