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Tart response to the King’s chosen coronation quiche

The King and the Queen Consort have chosen the signature dish for the coronation big lunches across Britain.

On the menu for the masses? No, not the creamy coronation chicken curry the late Queen enjoyed at her 1953 coronation … and no, it’s not the Pommy pub favourite of steak and kidney pie.

Despite an ongoing egg shortage in UK supermarkets, their majesties are going with the “grim choice” of coronation quiche featuring spinach, broad beans and tarragon covered by … eggs. (The official recipe is at the bottom of this article).

Isn’t quiche French?

Ahead of the coronation big lunches on May 7, the official royal.uk website announced the dish on Tuesday, and shared a copy of the recipe as loyal royalists hunted for eggs and prepared to make pastry from scratch.

“The coronation big lunch aims to brings neighbours and communities together to celebrate the coronation and share friendship, food and fun,” it wrote.

“Her Majesty, the Queen Consort has been patron of the initiative since 2013 and has attended big lunches all across the UK and the world, including in Ghana and Barbados.”

Former chef to the British Royal Family, Darren McGrady, says: “It’s no surprise that King Charles III has shared coronation quiche to celebrate his coronation.

“His mother, the Queen, loved chocolate, but the King loves anything with eggs and cheese. [I’ve] made this for him many times … especially with salmon he’d caught in the River Dee.

“But given [the King’s] ‘inclusiveness’ I can’t help wonder why the recipe includes ‘pork fat’ when so many of his subjects aren’t allowed to eat it.”

The King's official coronation dish revealed

Source: Twitter/Royal Family

Reaction was swift on many levels.

Depending on your politics and allegiances, “quiche is foreign muck”, said Reform spokeswoman Helena Handcart, adding “pie is the patriot choice”.

“Absolutely grim”, “revolting”, “sounds fabulous” and this question from the Socialist Party: “Will it be available at Foodbanks?”

“The fact that we have a coronation recipe is embarrassing enough, but this? A huge country full of unique cuisines and THIS is the crap you choose?” wrote one woman, perplexed by the royal decision.

“Coronation quiche? It’s 2023, not 1973. Are we having vol-au-vents and cheese with pineapple on a stick with it?” she asked.

The London tabloids were kinder.

“Let them eat quiche,” wrote the Daily Mirror.

“Forget your coronation chicken … Here’s the King’s flantastic treat!” yelled Metro.

The coronation chicken recipe, served for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, became a classic of British gastronomy. Photo: Getty

‘Out of touch’

In November the BBC reported a nationwide egg shortage, with supermarkets left with empty shelves and imposing customer limits as farmers struggled to produce enough due to rising costs.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said there were several factors affecting supply including the outbreak of avian flu and the cost of production.

In February, Poultry World reported the egg shortage was set to continue for several months in the UK.

Meanwhile, as royal watchers continue to debate the quiche and whether it could be made with powdered egg, and a UK court decides the fate of a man who threw at least five eggs at the King in November, more details are emerging about the coronation.

The formal coronation for Charles, who became King on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth in September, will take place at Westminster Abbey on May 6, in a ceremony that dates back 1000 years, surrounded by foreign heads of state and dignitaries.

Coronation quiche recipe

A deep quiche with a crisp, light pastry case and delicate flavours of spinach, broad beans and fresh tarragon. Eat hot or cold with a green salad and boiled new potatoes.

1x 20cm flan tin

Serves 6

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 125 grams plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 25 grams cold butter, diced
  • 25 grams lard
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Or 1 x 250-gram block of ready-made shortcrust pastry

Filling

  • 125 millilitres milk
  • 175 millilitres double cream
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 grams grated cheddar cheese
  • 180 grams cooked spinach, lightly chopped
  • 60 grams cooked broad beans or soya beans

Method

  1. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl; add the fats and rub the mixture together using your finger tips until you get a sandy, breadcrumb-like texture
  2. Add the milk a little at a time and bring the ingredients together into a dough
  3. Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes
  4. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to a circle a little larger than the top of the tin and about 5mm thick
  5. Line the tin with the pastry, taking care not to have any holes or the mixture could leak. Cover and rest for a further 30 minutes in the fridge
  6. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  7. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper, add baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes, before removing the greaseproof paper and baking beans
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees
  9. Beat together the milk, cream, eggs, herbs and seasoning
  10. Scatter half of the grated cheese in the blind-baked base, top with the chopped spinach and beans and herbs, then pour over the liquid mixture
  11. If required, gently give the mixture a delicate stir to ensure the filling is evenly dispersed but be careful not to damage the pastry case
  12. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Place into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and lightly golden.
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