This Quiche Caprese sums up pretty well how I think life is likely to be like on the island of Capri because of the amazing Caprese Salad. Beautiful, sweet tomatoes, peppery basil and cool, rich buffalo mozzarella everywhere! I know that this may well be an offensive stereotype and if the people of Capri were to ever read this, it may cause offence and frantic gesticulation. For that I am sorry. But as someone who has never been to Capri and was only fortunate enough to visit Italy once, I am perfectly happy to hold onto my romanticised yet offensive image.
Good tomatoes, good basil and good mozzarella really are a three-way marriage made in three-way heaven. All it needs is a little drizzle of the good extra virgin mozzarella, the stuff you save for salads and raw consumption, and a crunchy sprinkle of sea salt flakes. I genuinely feel that this combination can flavour any number of dishes, see my Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Bread, and it works well in this quiche.
Just make sure you dab the tomato slices with paper towels because otherwise, they will bring a lot of moisture into the custard and make it too runny. Also, I don’t care how sharp your chef’s knife is, how much you paid for it or how often you sharpen it, when it comes to slicing a tomato, what you need is a serrated knife. If none of your kitchen knives are serrated then a steak knife will be perfect. Of course a chef’s knife will do the job too but tomato skin is a chef’s knife kryptonite. So the best quality knife that is maintained perfectly can still hesitate before breaking a tomatoes skin.
- 175g plain flour
- 75g chilled butter, cubed
- 1 pinch of sea salt flakes
- 2 eggs
- 200ml cream
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 9 cherry tomatoes
- 1 ball of buffalo mozzarella, sliced
- 1 bunch of basil, leaves shredded
- 3 tbsp pesto
- 1 tbsp capers (optional)
- Blitz together the flour, butter and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in an egg, first with a fork before you bring it together with your hands to form a solid piece of dough.
- Flatten into a fat disk shape, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
- Roll it out on a lightly floured work surface until it is about an eighth of an inch thick and transfer it to a 9"/23cm tart dish. Line with a sheet of tin foil and chill in the fridge for another half an hour and preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Pour baking beads or dried rice or beans over the tin foil and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes.
- Then take it out, remove the foil and beads or rice,brush with the second egg that has been beaten and return to the oven for another 7 minutes.
- Take it out and let it cool completely.
- Combine the cream, eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine but do not aerate. Set aside this custard until later.
- Slice the tomatoes horizontally. The cherry tomatoes only need to be halves but slice the bigger tomatoes into thick slices. Transfer all sliced tomatoes to some paper towels to drain.
- Once the pastry has cooled, spread the pesto out over the base of the pastry. Arrange the plum tomato slices over the pesto. Scatter over the shredded basil. Fill in any gaps with the cherry tomato halves. Scatter over the capers.
- Not take your savoury custard from earlier and pour it into the filled pastry case.
- Finish by laying the thick mozzarella slices all over the tart and return to the oven for another 35 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
- Take it out and let it cool before slicing and serving.