27 October 2009, 14:02
Quail’s egg nests created by Heather Maybury for Britain's Best Dish
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Dish type: Starter
For the shortcrust pastry
90g plain flour
Generous pinch of English mustard powder
Pinch of table salt
45g unsalted butter, chilled
Cold water to mix
For the filling
16 quail eggs
2 – 3 rashers smoked streaky bacon
1 large egg
120ml double cream
Pinch of white pepper
A sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese
A packet of Alfalfa
6 sprigs of pea shoots (or watercress if peas shoots are unavailable)
8 cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
To make the pastry, sieve the flour, mustard and salt into a owl.
Chop the butter and rub in to the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Mix with cold water until it becomes a dough.
Roll out thinly and cut 8 circles using a plain edged 8cm (3.5 inch) cutter.
Line small pastry tins with the circles and prick the bases gently.
Line the pastry with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes.
Arrange the bacon on a baking tray and place in the oven at same time as the pastry for a similar period but do not allow to become too crispy.
Put the quail’s eggs in to boiling water for 3 minutes then plunge into cold water until required.
Break the egg into a basin and beat, reserving a little egg white to baste the pastry cases.
Take the baked pastry cases and bacon out of the oven. Drain the bacon on kitchen towel. Remove the foil and beans from the cases.
Paint the insides of the pastry with the egg white and return to the oven for 5 minutes then allow them to cool.
During this time, make the filling by heating the cream gently but do not let it boil.
Pour over the beaten egg, mix well and add white pepper to taste.
Put a little chopped bacon into the cooled cases. Strain the mixture into the cases over the bacon then sprinkle generously with Parmesan.
Bake at 180°C for 8-10 mins or until the custard has set but is not solid. Put on a cooling tray whilst garnishing plate.
Place a frond of pea shoots on the plate with van dyked ½ cherry tomato shells, one inside the other.
Last updated: 27 October 2009, 21:19