Spring seems to have hit Melbourne. Yes, I hear all of you who say but it was raining this afternoong and it was cold of late (it's true it was), however, the Tulip Festivalwas on last weekend.It was a glorious day. We took our new little car (it's one of these babies- second hand mind you!) for its first long(er) drive out to the Lilydale markets, where we picked up some delcious veggies and creamed honey. There's just something about creamed honey, it's just so very delicious, smother it on crumpters, hot toast, between cookies... oh! the cookies! I'll get to those later... First though, we took a drive along the way through the towns of the Dandenong Ranges, less than an hours drives to East ofMelbourne where, we happened upon the Tesselar Tulip Festival, which finished a few days ago.
We spent a lovely few hours wandering around, enjoying the atmosphere, searching for the seven gnomes that had gone missing in the upper garden and I spent a fair few moments oohing and aaahing over the gorgeous tulips. There were just soooo many tulips - I'd never seen that many before... we hit a small hurdle when my belly started grumbling, unfortunately there were not any jazzy-friendly options unless I wanted a liquid lunch! Thankfully, I'd made (and packed) this gluten free quiche the day before. Thanks to a gluten free pastry recipe request over on the facebook page- this is a tester that worked, but it's not perfect yet!
Hopping in the car early in the morning and spending a day amongst the green trees, fresh air and, lets admit just a few cute stores in Olinda, that were perused (at length), was a lovely way to spend the day. So, should you have a spare day this weekend, or next, take a moment and enjoy a different farmers market to your usual one by heading up, across ordown to the Dandenong Ranges. Then take in the view at the top of Mt Dandenong to look out over Melbourne in the sunshine (yes, it comes and goes, but I love this city - come rain or shine).
This pastry has a short buttery crumb with a delicious slightly nutty flavour from the quinoa flour, lending itsself well to quiches such as this one. If it cracks being transferred to the tart case, simply press it back together.
Gluten Free Asparagus & Ricotta Quiche
Makes one 9 inch quiche to feed a few hungry souls
for the gluten free pastry:
80g fine white or brown rice flour
60g quinoa flour
45g arrowroot flour or cornflour
1tsp rosemary or thyme leaves
100g cold butter, chopped into small chunks
1 egg yolk
4Tblspn cold water
Combine the flours, herb leaves, salt and butter in a food processor until the butter has been cut into the flour and looks like large crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, pulsing until the dough comes together. Note that it won't become a ball, but if you press it against the side of the food processor is should hold together. If it is simply too dry add another tablespoon of cold water.
Turn the dough out onto your workbench and form into a disk. Wrap in glad wrap and refridgerate for an hour or so.
Preheat your oven to 180degrees.
Roll the dough out between two pieces of baking paper until approximately 5mm thick and place into a grease 9" pan. Refridgerate for 10minutes. Then blind bake by lining the tart with baking paper and filling with baking weights or rice. Bake for 10minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights. If using rice, pop it in a separate container for future use.
for the filling:
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of asparagus (approximately 10spears)
Chop the asparagus spears in half ans steam for until tender. Arrange on the bottom of the tart case.
In a large bowl wihsk together the eggs and cream until fluffly, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the tart case. Dollop the ricotta in three spoonfuls on top.
Bake for 20-25minutes in a 180degree oven.
Allow to rest for 15minutes and serve with a salad. Also delicious chilled.