Tomorrow is the first day of Royal Ascot, which means the papers will be full of pictures of people in top hats and fascinators, sipping Champagne. If you're heading to a posh picnic, make this delicious quiche by Alex Mackay to take with you. Pack it up with an accompanying mozzarella and pea salad, some Pimm's jellies for afters and a bottle of raspberry and rose water fizz.
What's your favourite picnic food? Tell us in the comments box below.
- 1 x 375g pack ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
- 2 medium courgettes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- salt and cayenne pepper
- 12 large, raw, peeled king prawns
- 1 x 50g pack rocket, a few leaves reserved to garnish, the rest chopped
- FOR THE FILLING:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 x 284ml carton double cream or 275ml reduced-fat crème fraîche
- salt and cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Oil a 2.5cm-deep 19 x 27cm loose-bottomed rectangular tin.
- Unroll the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, trimming any edges if necessary. Chill for 40 minutes, then prick the base with a fork and line with baking paper and baking beans or rice.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 18 minutes or until golden around the edges.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks with the double cream or crème fraîche. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Remove the pastry case from the oven, discard the baking beans and baking paper, then brush the pastry with a little of the egg mixture.
- Bake for a further 5-7 minutes or until golden all over. Remove from the oven.
- Top and tail the courgettes and thinly slice each one on an angle. Heat a large frying pan with the vegetable oil and fry the courgette slices over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes, until they just begin to brown.
- Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Season with a little salt and cayenne pepper, then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.
- To prepare the prawns, slice all the way through them from top to bottom with a very sharp knife, removing any black veins; set aside.
- Spread the chopped rocket over the pastry base and arrange the courgette slices and the prawns on top.
- Pour over half the egg mixture, ensuring it runs evenly underneath the prawns and courgettes.
- Place the quiche on the middle shelf of the oven, pull the shelf out so you have easy access to the quiche, then pour over the remaining egg mixture (the pastry case will be quite full). Turn the oven down to 180°C, fan 170°C, gas 4 and bake for 30 minute
- Turn off the oven and leave the quiche inside for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and slide it off the base on to a cooling rack.
- Serve warm from the oven or cold, but not chilled, with the reserved rocket leaves scattered on top.
If you don't want to use prawns, you can substitute them for smoked salmon.