King Charles is hoping royal fans up and down the country will whip up his Coronation quiche to take to street parties next month, and amateur cooks are already eager to put the recipe to the test.
But what does the Coronation quiche really taste like? And how easy is it to make from scratch at home?
Last night, Buckingham Palace announced the monarch has chosen the eggy dish – which features spinach, broad beans and tarragon and has been developed with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan – to mark his Coronation.
But the announcement has already received mixed reviews from royal fans – with many pointing out that the recipe’s key ingredient is the ‘most difficult commodity to get hold of’ amid the national egg shortage.
However, Dame Prue Leith was full of praise for Charles and Camilla’s choice as she served the Duke of Edinburgh a slice of the quiche on an engagement in Westminster Abbey today.
King Charles III – who adores anything with eggs and cheese – has plumped for a ‘Coronation Quiche’ to celebrate being crowned
Highlighting the sociable aspect of the dish, the Great British Bake Off judge gushed: ‘Quiche is universal. Even cold, if the ingredients are right and the pastry is nice and buttery, it will taste great.’
With just three weeks to go before Charles and Camilla’ big day, FEMAIL’s Senior Writer Lydia Hawken decided to give the divisive quiche a go – with very surprising results.
The first time I read through the recipe on the Royal Family’s website, I was confident that I’d be more than capable of making this vegetarian dish from scratch.
The recipe contains some everyday household ingredients I already have in my stash – such as plain flour, butter, cheese and double cream.
What’s more, it’s only 10 steps in total – so how hard could it really be? Turns out, it really is quite a challenge.
Although I already had some of the basics at home, it took me three trips to different supermarkets until I finally tracked down a bag of frozen broad beans.
As I traipsed into branches of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and finally M&S, I couldn’t help but be envious of King Charles – who no doubt has the luxury of picking his own vegetables fresh from the gardens at Highgrove.
FEMAIL’s Senior Writer Lydia Hawken put the Coronation quiche to the test at home – and was slightly concerned by how anaemic it looked in comparison to the Royal Family pictures
Lydia Hawken (pictured) made the whole quiche entirely from scratch as outlined on the Royal Family’s website
The recipe has been released so Brits can make the dish themselves
After unpacking all 10 components at home, I suddenly felt irrationally nervous.
Growing up, my Cornish grandparents always used to make pasties with homemade shortcrust pastry – so I already know how difficult it is to get right.
And it turns out, my gut was right – shortcrust is just as temperamental as I remembered.
Despite following the instructions to the letter, I ended up with a soggy mess of a dough at the end of my second attempt.
But determined to persevere in the face of adversity, I proceeded to wrap it in cling film and allow it to ‘rest’ for 30 minutes.
Much to my surprise, I quite enjoyed baking with lard – as it dissolved quickly into the flour as opposed to the cold chunks of butter.
Once this half hour had passed, it was time to roll it out into a thin circle to spread over the pastry tin. Chaos ensued.
The pastry stuck onto my rolling pin and kept breaking apart in my hands.
Although it was incredibly tempting to bin it and use my back-up stash of readymade pastry, I decided to assemble what I could within the pastry dish.
After covering any holes with my readymade pastry, I put it back in the oven to ‘rest’ for another 30 minutes… wondering how much relaxation a single pastry could ever possibly need.
At this point, I began prepping the filling – which was the most straight-forward aspect of this bake.
Simply combine milk, cream, eggs, tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Easy.
However, things turned up a notch again when it was time to blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. In an attempt to speed things up, I’d also begun chopping the spinach, measuring out the broad beans and grating the cheese.
In other words, my desire for efficiency meant I ran out of surfaces in my corridor/kitchen pretty quickly.
Left: Ingredients for the quiche. Right: The recipe requires 25g of lard, which Lydia enjoyed working with
Left: Lydia blending the ingredients together until it formed breadcrumbs. Right: the pastry also has to be blind-baked for 15 minutes
Left: The recipe calls for 180g of spinach. Right: Lydia strayed from the recipe and wrung out the spinach to get rid of excess water
Luckily for me, I had my experienced baker of a mother on speed-dial – who urged me not to put the cooked spinach straight into the tart.
Although the instructions say to simply add the boiled veg in with the layer of cheese, I decided to stray slightly and wring it out like an old dishcloth.
After then patting it down with multiple paper towels, I was confident my shredded spinach wouldn’t make the quiche a watery, slimy mess. Crisis averted.
Once you’ve chucked in your booked broad beans, all that is left to do is top with the creamy mixture and add another generous amount of cheese.
Having never actually made a quiche before, I couldn’t help but hover by the oven for the entire 25 minutes of cooking time.
The recipe says you should remove the quiche from the oven as soon as it’s set. But in comparison to the photos on the Royal Family’s website, there was no denying that my quiche looked a little on the anaemic side.
Left: The first layer of cheese in the tart. Right: Lydia pours the creamy mixture over the spinach, cheese and broad beans
Lydia takes a slice of the finished quiche. She felt it wasn’t worth the faff but argued that it was better enjoyed cold
Trying to recreate that golden top, I added another scattering of cheese and then popped it in the oven for a further five minutes – which I can’t say made any difference whatsoever.
Having never made a quiche in my life, I proudly posted a photo of the finished result on my family WhatsApp group – partially to thank my mum for being my remote sous-chef throughout the entire ordeal.
‘What are those rocks,’ my sister immediately replied. ‘They look like olives,’ my brother added.
Note to self: push the broad beads further into the mixture next time. But now onto the important part – is it actually worth the faff? Personally, I can’t say it is.
Even with the tarragon, it’s a little on the bland side. I can’t help but think it would be improved with some ham or bacon, which probably doesn’t fit in with Charles’ flexitarian diet.
If I was to make it again, I’d probably add much more than the recommended 100g grams of cheese just to give it a little more bite.
That said, I much preferred it cold as it gave the pastry a chance to properly set – resulting in that irresistible crumbly finish.
Much to my surprise, my favourite part of the dish were the broad beans – which really took on the flavour of the creamy mix and were a welcome change in texture.
However in my humble opinion, the quiche just doesn’t hold a candle to a classic Coronation chicken sandwich. Sorry Charles…