I made this quiche for the first time last week and it has become a favourite. I suggest making the filling a day ahead and letting it sit overnight in the fridge. Not only does this help the flavours infuse the mixture also dries out a little and is much less likely to dilute the custard.
I usually make my own pastry and if you have a trusted shortcut recipe feel free to use it here. If not, you can just stick with a shop bought block. You can see from the pictures that I am still honing my pastry skills!
Shop bought block of short crust pastry – or make your own, recipe at bottom
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Salt to taste
2 large bell peppers (about 340g), seeded and cut in thin 1-inch strips
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 generous bunch spinach, stemmed, washed in 2 changes of water, and coarsely chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
Freshly ground pepper
150ml double cream
55g Gruyère, grated (1/2 cup)
40g Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees, 170 fan, gas mark 4.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry and line your quiche tin. Prick evenly with a fork all over. Put a layer of grease proof paper on top and cover with baking beads. Blind bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully remove the grease proof paper and beads and brush the base with a little milk or a little beaten egg yolk. Pop back in the oven for 8 minutes.
Whilst the pastry is cooking you can prepare the filling. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook the onion until tender, moving it around constantly, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic, peppers and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Now turn the heat down and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, until peppers are very tender and sweet.
Turn the heat up a little and add the spinach, you may need to add a handful at a time. Keep stirring until the spinach has wilted. If there is liquid in the pan turn the heat up high to cook it off, we need to avid soggy bottoms! Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. If you are making filling a day ahead, refrigerate uncovered.
Beat together the egg yolks and eggs in a medium bowl. Add salt, pepper, and cream to the remaining eggs and whisk together.
Spread pepper and spinach mixture in an even layer in the crust. Stir together cheeses and sprinkle in an even layer on top. Very slowly pour in the egg custard over the filling. If your quiche tin has low edges, you may not need all of it to fill the shell, and you want to avoid the custard spilling over. Place quiche, on baking sheet, in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until set and just beginning to colour on the top. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature. Take out of the fridge half an hour before you eat if you are having cold.
This is an all-purpose pastry, and a very good one, robust enough to handle. Can be used in sweet and savoury pies so is well worth getting to grips with. If you don’t want to use lard substitute a white vegetable fat.
Makes about 300g pasty
200g Plain flour
50g lard or white vegetable fat
Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter and lard into cubes and add this to the flour. Use your fingertips to rub the butter and lard into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the water very gradually, stirring it in with a knife. When the dough just sticks together knead it lightly until it forms a ball. Do not overwork it. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for ½ an hour in the fridge. Will keep well for 2 days or you can freeze it for use later.
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