A Cafe, A Goats' Cheese, & A Pinker-Than-Average Quiche

Lucy and Alex Foley are the sort of bold people who leap straight from one life into a completely different one! In their case this meant leaving jobs as a walking guide in Italy and a factory production consultant and taking on the lease of the Guardhouse Café on Berry Head in Devon. Built inside the old Napoleonic-era fort - on top of 200' cliffs near Brixham - this cafe in its amazing location has gone from strength to strength in the three years since Lucy and Alex's imaginative leadership, and almost straight away they were winning awards.

Lucy (top right) explained that the café is keen to use local ingredients as much as possible, and naturally, our wonderful Westcounry cheese is a key part of that. I visited on a stunning spring day to watch chef Danny (top left) make this beautiful pink-tinged quiche. Beetroot and goats' cheese is always a good partnership, especially when the latter is Sharpham's beautiful Ticklemore. Pink peppercorns provide a beautiful jewel-like detail ... and keep a look out for the unexpected appearance of marmalade (yes, marmalade) towards the end of the recipe!

Ticklemore, beetroot and pink peppercorn quiche

for the pastry:

500g plain flour
250g butter – cut into small cubes
A few tsps of orange juice
A pinch of salt
for the filling:

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
10 eggs
1 cup of full fat milk
2 red onions – finely sliced
4 medium cooked beetroot or 2 packs of pre-cooked beetroot – cut into roughly inch cubes
2 handfuls grated cheddar (Quickes, Keens, Westcombe)
150g Ticklemore goats’ cheese
Sprinkling of chopped parsley and pink peppercorns
Salt & pepper

Set your oven to 180C / gas mark 4.

First, make the pastry. Mix your salt into the flour, then rub in the butter in until it looks like breadcrumbs (we add a few tsps of orange juice in order to make the pastry pliable but retain its ‘short’ crumbliness). Wrap in clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

The pastry case. Lightly grease a 30cm / 12” flan dish, and preheat the oven to 180C. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface into a rough circle: wrap it around the rolling pin, then unwrap onto the flan dish. Gently push it down into the flutes and corners of the dish. Leave a generous flap around the outside (this will be cut off later), and prick the bottom with a fork. Cover in grease-proof paper and fill with baking beans. 

Bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes until the pastry is slightly hard, then remove the baking beans and grease-proof paper.  Brush it all over with beaten egg mixed with a little milk (this will help to seal the pastry and prevent sogginess). Back into the oven with it, and bake again until the pastry is golden - this should take about10 minutes. Then leave it to cool for a few minutes.

Filling time: in a large bowl mix the mustard, eggs and milk. Add the salt & pepper, sliced onions, cubed beetroot and grated cheddar. Cut 100g of the Ticklemore goats’ cheese into chunks and mix into the egg mixture. 
Pour the filling into the case. Top with slices of the rest of the Ticklemore, chopped parsley and the pretty pink peppercorns. Bake in the oven for roughly 45 minutes until lightly golden and slightly risen. 

With a serrated knife gently cut off the excess pastry from around the rim of the dish (we lightly glaze the pastry rim with marmalade to give it a glossy look and subtle flavour.) Allow to cool completely before slicing - you should get 6 large portions.

Serve warm or cold with your favourite green salad or seasonal green veg - for example, at this time of year purple sprouting broccoli or asparagus.