Best wishes for the new year, duxelles quiche and soggy ears

A very Happy 2015 to everybody!
Our New Year has started true to form: one dog is wearing a filthy tennis sock, fetchingly held in place by a rubber band and the other dog has soggy, disheveled ears full of impossibly matted knots. Hugo had a bit of a paw mishap, which explains his incongruous footwear. Presumably to take his mind off the pain, he has taken to chewing Java’s ears, which explains her unladylike appearance. He chews them in a ‘try and stop me if you dare’ kind of way that brings to mind old westerns where the cowboys chewed ‘baccy’ and then spit it out on the ground. I’m half expecting him to thump down a shot glass and growl for another whisky to wash down his ribs and beans. I never imagined for a second that I might one day need advice on how to untangle an English Setter’s soggy ears and yet, here I am asking. If anyone can impart some wisdom it would be most welcome because I’ve tried combing, brushing, coaxing and blackmail to no avail. She’s very fidgety and slippery and it’s a bit like trying to coif a hyperactive eel which, all things considered, I could probably do without…
These mushroom quiches are really tasty and quite rich. The crushed oats make the pastry particularly crisp, nicely complimenting the filling.
Ingredients (serves 6 – 8)
100g spelt flour
50g buckwheat flour
50g crushed oats
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g butter
20g virgin coconut oil
Roughly 6 tablespoons of cold water
4 large mushrooms, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
150 ml double cream
To make the pastry, begin by cutting the butter and coconut oil into small cubes. Add to the flours and oats in a mixing bowl and add a pinch of sea salt. Blend by hand until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add the cold water, mixing rapidly with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until you obtain a ball of pastry (if the mixture isn’t ‘sticky’ enough to form a ball, you may need a drop more water). Wrap in a clean cotton tea towel and leave to ‘rest’ in the fridge for about two hours. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and fill the tart tin or tins. As this pastry contains buckwheat flour and oats it will be quite fragile. You’ll find that you have to treat it delicately and possibly fill in the cracks with remaining bits of pastry by pressing gently. I use individual tart tins. Precook the pastry for 12 minutes.
To make the filling, combine the finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and bacon and line the quiche cases with the mixture. Break the egg into a small bowl and add the cream and seasoning (salt, pepper, paprika). Beat well to form a homogenous mixture. Pour the egg/cream mixture over the top and cook for 18 minutes.


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