The sun is threatening to come out again - which means your al fresco feasts need planning. Keep everyone happy with these mini vegetarian quiches.

 

Ingredients

225g plain flour

140g butter, chilled, diced

115g mature Cheddar, grated

115g peas

115g baby broad beans

115g asparagus spears, chopped

115g green beans, chopped

4 free-range eggs

200ml double cream

100ml whole milk

small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch watercress, roughly chopped

5 baby plum tomatoes, chopped

Method

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Mix in the cheese and just enough chilled water to bind the mixture together.

3. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

4. Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface and use it to line your individual tart tins.

5. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

7. Meanwhile, steam or boil the peas, broad beans, asparagus and green beans until al dente then drain. Refresh the vegetables in iced water and drain well.

8. Line the chilled pastry cases with aluminium foil and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes.

9. Beat the eggs, cream and milk in a bowl, then add the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

10. Remove the tart tins from the oven, discard the aluminium foil and baking beans and reduce the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

11. Place the tart tins on a baking tray, arrange the blanched vegetables, watercress and tomatoes over the base of the pastry cases and pour over the egg mixture.

12. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the filling is set, then remove the quiches from the oven and set aside to cool slightly before removing from the tins.

Nigel holds exclusive classes in his own cookery school kitchen. For more information log on to www.nigelbrownchef.co.uk