Friday, 16 September 2011

Stilton, Spinach and Potato Quiche

Stilton, Spinach and New Potato quiche as promised! I found Stilton in Aldi yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at how cheap it was. I've never had it before so decided to give it a go. The texture is lovely and creamy and although quite strong it doesn't suffer from that 'blue-mould' taste.

Overall I was a little underwhelmed by this quiche. The pastry adds walnuts but I really don't think they add much and a plain ole shortcrust would do just as well. The filling of potatoes, parmesean, eggs, cream and spinach doesn't pack any punch and if making again I would add double stilton to give the filling a bit of a boost. The taste was lovely and creamy but very subtle, the lemon rind being the biggest flavour. I served this with home made purple coleslaw but it overwhelmed the quiche and really should be accompanied by simply dressed lettuce leaves or home made chips.

For the pastry
200g plain flour, sifted
100g unsalted butter, chilled
good pinch of salt
50g walnuts, finely chopped to breadcrumb size
1 tsp paprika
2 large eggs

For the filling
250g spinach
7 small new potatoes, softly boiled
3 large eggs
250ml double cream
grated zest of half lemon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
25g parmesan, freshly grated
small bunch of thyme springs stripped,
150g rindless Stilton, crumbled.

For the pastry
Combine the flour, butter and salt in a bowl and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. I used a food processor for this. Beat one egg and mix in with the knife. then beat the other egg and add a teaspoon of it at a time until the mixture comes together. Gather the dough into a rough ball and wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. The trick with pastry is not to handle it too much and to keep the ingredients cold.

Line the base of a 23cm flan time with baking paper. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of clingfilm taking into account that you want the pastry to line the sides of the tin and also leave some pastry hanging over the edges (this is to prevent the pastry case shrinking in the oven). Chill the pastry case for 20 minutes, then trim generously.

Line the pastry case with non stick baking paper and baking/dried beans. Bake blind in a 180o C oven for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven, brush with left over beaten egg and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until golden.

For the Filling
Wash and drain the spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes at a rigorous boil until wilted. Squeez out all the excess moisture. Beat together the eggs, cream, lemon rind, cayenne pepper, half the thyme, black pepper and parmesan lightly. Add the spinach. Spread the potato slices over the base of the baked pastry case and crumble over the Stilton. Pour over most of the spinach/egg mix then place in the oven. When the case is in the oven top up with the end of the filling (this is a good trick to stop the filling spilling when transferring to the oven). Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the filling is the consistency of scrambled eggs with a bit of a wobble. I found the top of the quiche browning too quickly so I put a sheet of foil over after about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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