Friday, March 18, 2011

Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Quiche Recipe

We use butternut pumpkin (also known as butternut squash) in this quiche but any variety of pumpkin can be used.

If you don't wish to use a food processor to make the pastry, it can be made by hand: rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips or with the aid of a pastry blender, and then incorporate the liquid ingredients. We roll the pastry out with a rolling pin, but if you would prefer not to, it can be pressed into the quiche dish with your fingertips. Press the pastry out in the dish to a thickness of about 5mm and discard any remaining pastry (or save for another use).

Serves about 8.

Preparation time: about 1 hour (excludes pastry resting time and baking time)

We use a 20ml tablespoon and 250ml measuring cup for all of our recipes.

Shortcrust Pastry
275g (1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup) plain flour
150g cold butter, roughly chopped (if using unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon fine table salt)
2 teaspoons (10ml) chilled water
1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)

600g peeled pumpkin, roughly chopped into about 2.5cm cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large (about 200g) onion, peeled and finely chopped
150g baby spinach leaves
5 large eggs (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
166ml (2/3 cup) cream (35 to 40 percent fat)
1/4 teaspoon grated/ground nutmeg
120g feta cheese (scant 1 cup feta chunks)
100g (1 cup, firmly packed) grated tasty cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (180 degrees Celsius fan-forced).

Place flour and butter in a food processor and process on medium speed until only tiny lumps of butter remain (about 15-30 seconds).
In a small bowl, use a fork to beat water and egg together until combined. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture. Process on medium speed until the mixture clumps together (about 30 seconds).
Tip the dough onto a large sheet of baking paper. The paper will be reused when rolling the pastry out.
Use your hands to bring the pastry together. Work quickly when handling the pastry and don't handle it more than necessary — it is not desirable for the butter in the pastry to melt. Form the pastry into a disc shape. Wrap pastry disc with plastic wrap or place in a freezer bag, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin on tray and drizzle with one tablespoon (20ml) oil. Toss pumpkin to coat in oil. Spread pumpkin out in a single layer and season with salt and pepper.
Position tray in the middle of the oven and cook for about 30-45 minutes, until the pumpkin is lightly browned and soft (test by piercing with a sharp knife). The cooking time required will be affected by the size of the pieces and the variety of pumpkin used. Set pumpkin aside until required.
Place unwrapped pastry disc between two large sheets of baking paper. Using a rolling pin, roll pastry out to fit a 23cm diameter (base measurement), 4.5cm deep quiche dish. The bottom sheet of baking paper may develop creases during rolling. These creases can make deep cuts in the pastry. To help prevent this, do the following once or twice during rolling: Leaving the pastry between the two sheets of baking paper, flip the whole thing over so the bottom sheet of baking paper is now on the top. Then lift the top sheet of baking paper off the pastry to remove the creases, place the paper down again, and continue rolling. ©

Roll the pastry to about 5mm thick.
If it is a hot day and the pastry has softened too much when rolling, it will be difficult to lift into the dish. If this is the case, place the pastry (still between the two sheets of baking paper) on a large flat tray or chopping board and place in the freezer for about five minutes until it firms up enough to lift into the dish.

If you would like directions on transferring pastry to dish, please see this recipe. Line dish with pastry, leaving the excess extending above the top rim of the dish. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Heat remaining two teaspoons oil in a frying pan or saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes).
Rinse the spinach, leaving some water clinging to the leaves, and roughly chop.

Increase pan heat to high. Add spinach to onion.
Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach has wilted and any moisture in the pan has evaporated (about 2-3 minutes). Stop cooking or reduce heat if the mixture starts to over-brown. Remove pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. If possible, set your oven so that the top and bottom elements are on and the fan, if present, is off. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest shelf position; the pastry base will brown and crisp better if it is close to the bottom element. If you have a fan-forced oven and aren't able to turn the fan off, set your oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

After one hour, remove quiche dish from refrigerator. Using a sharp knife, trim away the pastry that extends above the top rim.

Scrunch the reserved baking paper until soft and pliable. Smooth the baking paper out flat and use to line the pastry case, making sure the paper extends past the top of the dish. Pour raw rice, dried beans or pie weights onto the baking paper, making sure the rice/beans/weights are pushed up against the sides of the pastry.
Bake pastry case for 15 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Carefully lift the baking paper and weights off the pastry. Return pastry to oven and bake for a further 15 minutes.

While the pastry is baking, place eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper (we use 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper) in a medium bowl.
Whisk ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.
When the pastry has finished baking, remove from the oven and place cooled pumpkin pieces in a single layer on the pastry base.
Top pumpkin with the spinach and onion mixture. Crumble the feta over.
Top with grated cheese.
Pour the egg mixture over the grated cheese.

Bake quiche for about 30 minutes on the lowest oven shelf, then move to the middle of the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes to brown the top. The quiche should feel firm when lightly pressed in the centre. Leave the quiche to sit for about 10 minutes to firm up before slicing. Serve hot or warm.

Store quiche, covered, in the refrigerator. Suitable to freeze.


Anonymous Claire said...

yumm!!! my absolute favourite combination :) Can't wait to try it.
I check your website EVERY day for new recipes as I can always trust that they will work. Keep up the great work girls.. Cheers!

18/3/11 10:30 pm  
Blogger am.i.full said...

That looks delish! Will be on my to-do list!

20/3/11 11:48 pm  
Anonymous Nat said...

Have now made this three times this week!

26/3/11 4:45 pm  
Blogger aisyahnadiah said...

what the function of u putting the rice??

26/3/11 11:13 pm  
Anonymous Catro said...

I made this for tea tonight and was so delicious! I made an olive oil pastry and used milk instead of cream.

27/3/11 10:57 pm  
Blogger Mamatkamal said...

It looks gorgeous!

29/3/11 7:51 pm  
Anonymous eddi88 said...

Very nice, thanks for sharing the recipe.

31/3/11 10:42 pm  
Anonymous Anna said...

Made this last night.
Was worried it might be too bland but it tasted great.
My daughter who does not like quiche, ate it and commented that it was the nicest one I have made.
Having leftovers for lunch. Yum.

PS. All the recipes I have tried from this website turn out great.

1/4/11 11:03 am  
Anonymous Catro said...

I made this pie for a second time and added pine nuts...yummo!

18/4/11 10:25 am  
Anonymous Chris said...

could I use cottage cheese instead of fetta?

26/4/11 8:44 pm  
Anonymous Amie said...

Yummo! I cheated a little and used frozen puff pastry but otherwise followed your recipe and even my husband was impressed. Thanks!

3/5/11 8:50 pm  
Blogger Kat said...

I am making this right now and can't wait to see how it turns out. Thanks so much for the recipe and the photos are so helpful when cooking!!

18/9/11 9:09 pm  
Blogger Vicky C said...

I have just made this quiche for the second time using some leftover veggies. it's easy to make and tastes delicious. Thanks again for another fab recipe.

25/9/11 2:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recipe, delicious!! Can't wait to try your other recipes now. Thank you.

30/9/11 11:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this quiche be served cold the next day?

6/2/12 12:31 pm  
Blogger Lauren said...

This is my go to receipe if I want to impress I have made it five times now and it is always a hit and so delicious. The pictures are such a huge help to a non cook.

31/5/12 1:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic recipe! I've added a few things myself like grated zucchini with the onion and spinach and placed pumpkin seeds on top

4/9/12 2:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could you use ready-made puff pastry instead?

7/1/13 2:01 pm  
Blogger Amanda and Debbie said...

Puff pastry would be suitable to use in place of the shortcrust base.

7/1/13 3:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question - If I use frozen pastry from the store do you still bake it first using the same instructions and time?

22/5/13 1:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cooked this for my family tonight , and some of my family are vegetarian so every one enjoyed :) Was so yummy!

19/7/13 7:21 pm  

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