Is Jamie Oliver bananas for making pastry from avos? We tried his recipe
Our food editor couldn't resist giving this innovative idea a go — and not only because she's smitten with the celeb chef
I’m a Jamie Oliver fan. I’ve been smitten from the day I was lucky enough to meet the celeb chef in person back in early 2000, and he’s come a long way since gaining millions of followers around the globe.
I so enjoy his Instagram posts because he cleverly makes you feel as if he’s talking just to you, sharing pics of his tribe, his mates and his food, which is quick, wholesome and often has a quirky edge.
The most recent recipe of Jamie’s to pop up on my social media feed was for a pea and cheddar quiche with avocado pastry.
He hailed it as a “game-changer” and I must admit his idea to swap the butter in the pastry for the richness of smashed avocado piqued my curiosity.
The fact that the new season of affordable local avocados has arrived, and we no longer have to pay for imported ones in their weight in gold, was another good reason to give it a go. I used the nutty dark-skinned Hass variety, which will be plentiful until November.
I have a sneaky feeling Jamie was spurred to share this particular recipe because the best of SA's avos are exported to Europe, and so are sure to be bountiful in the UK soon.
LET'S GET COOKING
Jamie’s recipe — click here or watch the video below — starts with a couple of ripe avocados as well as some extra virgin olive oil, which is used to bring the weight of the smashed fruit up to 200g if necessary.
You rub the avo into self-raising flour with your fingertips, as you would ordinarily do with butter when making pastry. A pinch of salt and some cold water is added to form a dough, which is kneaded and chilled in the fridge. To speed things up, I placed the avo in a food processor along with the other pastry ingredients.
WATCH | How to make Jamie Oliver's avocado pastry quiche
The simple filling is made by blitzing eggs, grated cheddar cheese, frozen peas, fresh basil and some seasoning in a blender until smooth. Again, I opted to use a food processor; I also partially defrosted the peas by pouring boiling water over them before draining them and adding them to the mix.
Next the pastry is rolled out on a floured surface — I find it easier to do this between two large pieces of greaseproof paper — and used to line an oiled baking tray.
The pastry is baked blind until it’s lightly golden, at which point you pour in the filling and return it to the oven to bake until it’s set.
The quiche is topped with more grated cheese and some mixed salad leaves lightly dressed with olive oil and lemon juice before serving.
My quiche came out the oven with a puffed-up crust and a green puddle in the middle, yet the recipe is a goody. I enjoyed making the green pastry; it was a first for me, and it's a great idea for vegans to try.
The pastry develops a crust with a soft, biscuity texture on baking. Pleasant, but when I make it again, I'd replace the self-raising flour with regular flour adding 1½ tsp baking powder. I feel pastry tastes less “soapy” when it's made with flour that doesn't have a raising agent already included.
I also felt that sprinkling a handful of freshly chopped peas over the top of the quiche would have enhanced the pea flavour in the filling. If you wanted, you could replace the peas with grated baby marrow or lightly steamed broccoli.
And next time, I'd use a mature cheddar or even a good blue cheese to give the dish a stronger flavour.
That said, the quiche would make a good brunch, lunch or supper dish. I served mine for dinner with a salad, and no-one believed the pastry was made with avocado.
Now that avos are in season, they're plentiful and affordable, and it's cheaper to make pastry with them than butter, so why not give Jamie's recipe a go?