I’ve never made a quiche. Or a flan. Or any sort of eggy tart type thing. It’s the blind baking bit that puts me off. Anything that needs more than one lot of cooking seems a bit too much effort to me.
But I had a whole log of goats’ cheese leftover from Christmas that was just crying out for a tart of some description so I thought I’d give it a go. I had to actually go out and buy a flan dish (loose bottomed, naturally) and baking beans!
See? Already a lot of effort involved! I guess I could’ve used pasta or rice to weight it but that always seems a bit of a waste of food to me.
Anyway, onto the recipe…
15 pellets of frozen spinach
A good knob of garlic butter (or plain butter and 1 clove of minced garlic)
1.5 cups of double cream (if you want to make it a bit healthier, go half-and-half with milk and cream)
4 large eggs
1 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 goats’ cheese log
1 packet of shortcrust pastry.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place your flan tin onto a baking tin (just in case you have any disastrous leaks later on!). Line your flan tin with the pastry. I had to roll mine out a bit thinner to fit the tin and it still wasn’t quite big enough (rookie error; should’ve bought a smaller tin!). You want plenty of extra pastry hanging over the edges because it’ll shrink in the oven. Make sure you press the pastry into the corners of the tin. Next, place a large sheet of baking parchment on top of the pastry and weight it down with the baking beans, again spread them right out into the corners. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile melt the garlic butter on a gentle heat and add the frozen spinach. You want to heat it through until all of the moisture has gone. If the spinach is too wet you’ll end up with the fabled soggy bottom and then Paul Hollywood will give you that death stare of his that will bore right into your soul. So keep heating it until it’s a fairly stiff mixture.
While the pastry and spinach are cooking, mix up your egg mixture by whisking the cream/milk with the eggs, salt and pepper.
You can also take the opportunity to slice the goats’ cheese into medallions.
When the initial cooking time is up, remove the baking beans from the pastry tin and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
By now, all the other components should be ready. Spread the spinach mixture onto the bottom of the cooked pastry case and arrange the goats’ cheese slices on top.
Now very carefully pour the egg mixture over the top. You don’t want to dislodge the rest of the filling or splosh egg over the top of the dish. Fill it as near to the top of the pastry as you dare. This is the bit where you have to precariously get the whole thing into the oven without spilling it. Steady now!
Mine didn’t have quite as much as I wanted, due to my pastry shrinking too much in a couple of spots.
Bake for a final 40 minutes, until the top is lovely and golden.
To get it out of the tin, balance it on a tin of beans. The loose bottom will stand on top of the beans, while the sides of the flan tin should (hopefully) come away easily. You can then transfer the entire quiche, with the metal base, onto a plate to cut and serve.
There is a lot of useful information about British safety standards for eggs, including egg allergy on the British Lion Eggs website. Check on the box for the British Lion Quality mark:
As well as on the eggs themselves:
If you see this mark, you can be sure that your eggs meet a certain standard.
This post was written in conjunction with British Lion Eggs.