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.
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. © exclusivelyfood.com.au
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. © www.exclusivelyfood.com.au