Spinach Quiche

Have you ever misguidedly bought a bag of frozen spinach, only to bung in the freezer, in the hope it will be easy to add to meals? Except of course it isn’t, because the older, tougher frozen leaves are just not as good as fresh baby spinach. Perhaps it’s the stuff I’m buying, but if you have some sad frozen leaves lurking in your freezer, this is a very good way to turn in it into a much more delicious spinach quiche (cheese makes everything better, as well all know).

I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, jiggled around a bit to suit English ingredients. And the pastry recipe recommended is spot on. I used t0 hate making pastry until I realised it is so much better behaved if you make it in the food processor so that the butter and flour is really well combined. Once you’ve done that it is so much simpler to roll out and line a tin. Make the full quantity, divide in two and put one half back in the freezer so you can make this quiche again when you realise how good it is. You’ll thank me later.

PS – you really go want to let the spinach thaw, and then press as much water out as you can. I gave it some really hard squeezes with my hands which while cold, was effective. Using a potato rice would no doubt would work just was well without the risk of frozen fingers.

Spinach Quiche

Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 300g flour
  • 150g cold butter
  • Pinch salt
  • 85g cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced

Instructions

  • To make the pastry, pop your flour and cold butter in a food processor along with the salt and pulse until combined. Add in enough ice cold water to bind it together into a large round, then divide the dough in half. Pop half in the freezer for another time, and then press the other half into a 9 inch quiche disk. Blind bake this for 10 mins at 200C.
  • To make the filling, beat the cream cheese along with the eggs and cream until smooth. Mix in the spinach, spring onions and some salt and pepper before pouring into the tart base. Bake for 25 minutes until set and turning golden brown.
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    White Chocolate & Raspberry Danishes

    It was surprising to discover just how much I missed baking the week I was off in Paris (especially as it was a yorkie-based challenge, and errr… yes please!), so it was fun to dive back into pastry this week.

    Things I learnt: danish pastry was not as hard as anticipated, although it probably helped I spent a whole Friday evening making it, with plenty of time in between to rest the dough. Pinwheels are surprisingly hard to make neat and tidy. Bonne Maman is just as great at filling danishes as it is viennese whirls.

    Would I make these again? Almost certainly – now I’ve conquered the dough it would be fun to do a proper version complete with creme pat, but white chocolate squares make for a really quick and equally delicious substitute instead.

    Bring on botanicals week next. Needless to say, I suspect something gin themed will be in the works.

    White Chocolate & Raspberry Danishes

    White Chocolate & Raspberry Danishes

    Ingredients

    • 250g strong bread flour
    • 5g salt
    • 40g caster sugar
    • 7g fast acting yeast
    • 1 egg
    • 45ml cool water
    • 60ml milk
    • 125g cold butter
    • White chocolate squares
    • Raspberry jam

    Instructions

  • Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar, before pouring in the eggs, milk and water. Mix to a dough, and tip out into a floured worksurface to knead until it comes together in a smooth ball. Pop this into the fridge to chill for an hour.
  • Once that hour is up, collect your butter and your dough. Bash the butter out between two sheets of baking parchment, using a rolling pin, until you have a thick sheet about 20 x 15 cm. Then, roll out the dough until it is around 30 x 15 cm.
  • Carefully lift the butter onto the bottom two thirds of the dough, and fold the butter-free half over the middle, before folding the remaining buttered section over the top of that. The dough goes back into the fridge and rests for another hour. After this time, roll it back out to the same size, repeat the folds again, and let rest for another hour. Repeat twice more before letting the dough rise overnight.
  • The next morning, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, and cut into 10 even-ish squares. Cut diagonal lines almost to the middle through each square, then fold these over to create the pinwheels. Pop a splodge of jam and a square of white chocolate in the square of each danish, and let rise for two hours at room temperature.
  • Bake at 200C for 15 minutes until golden brown.
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    The very best butternut squash and feta tart

    I know, I know: butternut squash and feta is not a new pairing over here. But let’s consider this a bit like a sign of my blogging improvement: we’ve gone from this (admittedly delicious) galette, shot in the dark and wonky around the edges, to this slightly more fancy butternut squash and feta tart.

    And because it’s such a delicious combination, this is the meal that my vegan resolve fell apart in the face of. Since most pre-made pastry is actually vegan, I had planned to have this feta-less, figuring the caramelised onions on the bottom of the tart would provide enough flavour. But when it came to filling up the tart: why give up such a good treat?

    As much as I enjoyed a couple of weeks of vegan-ism, I can confirm it was definitely not for me. It was fine – I didn’t miss eggs as much as feared – but that was it. Everything was just fine. And I like my food too much to keep eating another week or two of meals that are just find. So, back to normal eating it is, and this tart is the very best way of celebrating that.

    Butternut Squash & Feta Tart

    Yield: Serves 1

    Butternut Squash & Feta Tart

    Ingredients

    • Half a butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
    • 1 onion, finely sliced
    • 50g feta, crumbled
    • Quarter of a block of premade shortcrust pastry

    Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200C, and coat the squash in some oil, salt and pepper. Let the squash roast for half an hour until slightly blackened around the edges. Leave the oven on once it's done. While the squash is roasting, heat a pan with a little butter. Let the onion slices caramelise until sweet and golden brown.
  • Roll out the pastry and line a small tart tin. Spread a layer of caramelised onions along the bottom, and then tumble over the squash and feta. You can heap it up slightly as it will collapse down when it bakes. Bake for 25 minutes until the feta is browned on top and the pastry is golden.
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    Oh – and your leftover butternut squash and feta? Turn them into this salad.