The bunting is up, people are camping out in the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace, and tourists are descending en-masse on London for the first British coronation since 1953. For the coronation celebration, the royal chef Mark Flanagan has released a recipe for King Charles’ Coronation Quiche, a vegetarian quiche with a simple filling of spinach, beans and tarragon.
I’ve made a couple of changes to make the recipe even MORE delicious (a quiche without onions and garlic? Come on!) with loads of step-by-step photos a video and detailed instructions, so you can bake the perfect Coronation Quiche at home.
A Royal Occasion
It has become a tradition for the Royal family to create a recipe to mark special occasions. The last coronation was so long ago that the coronation dish of Poulet Reine Elizabeth (that’s Coronation Chicken to you and me) has become a much-loved classic of the British kitchen.
This time around, the royal chef has created a quiche in honour of the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla. It is a delicately flavoured vegetarian number, perfect for springtime.
I’ve made a few minor changes to this recipe, firstly scaling it up to fit a 23-24cm (9 inches) pie dish, as the original recipe makes a much smaller portion. I’ve also enriched the pastry with egg yolk and added garlic and onions to the custard.
I’ve also given cooking instructions for spinach and beans and altered the cooking time to guarantee a lovely golden brown and gorgeously risen quiche. (Don’t believe this article in the Toronto Star, this quiche can be absolutely delicious!)
To make this quiche, you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Plain or All Purpose flour: You can use either type of flour in this recipe. Self-raising is not suitable.
- Butter: I always use unsalted butter in my recipes to control the salt in the final product. If using salted butter, reduce the salt in the pastry recipe.
- Lard: This gives the pastry a wonderful flakiness. If you can’t source it or don’t wish to use it, replace it with an equal quantity of butter.
- Milk: Full cream milk is suitable for this recipe.
- Cream or creme fraiche: For the best mouthfeel, I use creme fraiche for this quiche; it gives a lovely light tanginess to the final dish. You can use heavy cream, double cream or half and half.
- Eggs: I use European-size L eggs. They weigh 63-72g in the shell, around 2.25 oz.
- Fresh tarragon: Tarragon has a light aniseed or fennel-like flavour. It is also often difficult to source, so you can replace it with other herbs. Dill, parsley or mint are delicious with a vegetarian quiche like this. Dried tarragon is very strongly flavoured, be VERY sparing if you use it.
- Cheddar cheese: Use a good quality mature British or Irish Cheddar for the best flavour, at least 12-18 months aged.
- Spinach: I use young spinach leaves and cook them myself. You can use frozen spinach, but it must be VERY well drained to stop the quiche from going soggy.
- Beans: This original recipe calls for broad beans (fava beans) or soybeans. I’d recommend getting a bag of frozen beans for ease of use and freshness. Alternatively, you could use peas in this recipe too.
- Garlic and Spring Onions (scallions): Add a light flavour to this dish. You could swap them out for chives if you want a more mild flavour.
The complete ingredient list and method are in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I use store-bought pastry to make quiche?
Yes! You can use a good quality shortcrust pastry. However, this recipe is so easy and forgiving that I recommend making your own! The reward is in every delicious bite.
Can I freeze this quiche?
Yes, fully cooked quice can be frozen, though it can affect the texture on defrosting (the custard can be a little looser). A cooked quiche will last up to a week in the fridge, so you may prefer to store it well-wrapped in the refrigerator instead.
Can I use other herbs in this quiche?
Yes! Basil, mint, dill or parsley are suitable substitutions.
Coronation Quiche Recipe
for the pastry:
- 200 g plain flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 50 g cold butter, cubed
- 50 g lard, cubed (see notes)
- 1 egg yolk
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
for the filling:
- 200 ml full cream milk
- 200 g creme fraiche, heavy or double cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1-2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 spring onion, scallion, finely diced
- ½ – 1 tsp sea salt
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 75 g broad beans or soybeans, frozen
- 200 g baby spinach leaves, , washed and drained
- 125 g good quality Cheddar cheese, grated
- MAKE THE PASTRY: Weigh the flour into the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment fitted. Add the salt, butter and lard, then pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 2-3 tablespoons of milk, then run the processor until the mixture clumps together into a ball of dough, adding a little extra milk if the pastry is too dry. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a flat disc.
- PREPARE PASTRY CASE: Grease a deep-sided 24cm pie dish, loose-bottomed flan, or tart tin (see notes). Roll the pastry out to an even circle, slightly larger in diameter than the dish you are using. Lift the pastry into the dish and press gently into the sides. Trim the edges as necessary, prick the pastry base with a fork, and then transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes. Reserve any remaining dough for patching any cracks in the blind-baked case.
- PREPARE THE FILLING: While the pastry is chilling, heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 with an oven tray or baking sheet in the middle to lower third. In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk the milk, creme fraiche, eggs, tarragon, garlic, spring onion, salt and nutmeg. Set aside to infuse.
- COOK THE VEGETABLES: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Cook the beans for a few minutes until tender, then lift out with a slotted spoon and refresh under cold water. Set aside. Add the spinach to the pot, stir and leave to blanch for 2-3 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold running water. When the spinach is cold enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out as much water as you possibly can, then wrap it in a paper towel and set aside.
- BLIND BAKE PASTRY: When the pastry has chilled, line it with a layer of crumpled baking parchment paper or greaseproof paper and a layer of kitchen foil. If you like, weigh down with baking beans, uncooked rice or kitchen weights. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the paper and foil and bake for 5 minutes. Next, remove the whole tray from the oven. If there are any holes or cracks in the base, gently patch them with the remaining dough.
- ASSEMBLE QUICHE: Chop the spinach finely, then stir the chopped spinach through the egg mixture. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the base of the blind-baked case, and sprinkle over the drained broad beans or soybeans. Pour the custard into the case, ensuring it doesn't come too close to the top of the tin, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese and transfer carefully to the oven.
- BAKE: Bake for 35-40 minutes until the quiche is a lovely golden brown and the filling has puffed evenly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving. If the quiche is browning too quickly, reduce the oven temperature to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. (see recipe notes)
If your oven runs hot or has a tendency to burn things, cook this quiche at 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and give it a few extra minutes cooking time if necessary until it is puffed and browned.
TROUBLESHOOTING: If the pastry is browning too quickly and the middle of the quiche is not yet cooked, you can (carefully) place strips of aluminium foil over the edges of the quiche, only after the middle is no longer liquid (otherwise it sticks).
- Lard gives the pastry a lovely texture and flavour, but if you can't source it or don't want to use it, replace it with an equal weight of butter.
- Broad beans are known as fava beans in the 'United States.
This is an easy pastry recipe, but you can use a good quality store-bought shortcrust pastry or even ready-made crusts if you like. (Though a homemade crust is tastier!)
- Blind baking is necessary for this recipe as it will prevent the liquid mixture from creating the dreaded soggy bottom.
I always recommend using a metal or enamelled metal pie dish.
- Glass or ceramic does not conduct heat as well. It can prevent the quiche from cooking successfully.
If you don't like or cannot source fresh tarragon, leave it out. Suitable replacement herbs are parsley, dill, or mint.
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