Thursday, July 31, 2008

Creamy Vegetable Crown

Packed with spinach and cheese, this easy quiche makes a great meal for vegetarians. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 1/2 cups wholemeal all-purpose (plain) flour
Pinch of salt
3 ounces (90 g) butter, chilled and diced
1 ounce (30 g) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
8 ounce (250 g) packet frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
1/2 pint (300 ml) fresh cream
2 ounces (50 g) Cheddar cheese, grated


1. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Gradually add 1/4 cup cold water, mixing in with a round-bladed knife, until a soft dough forms. Compress with a cold hand, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out the pastry to a round and line a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Trim the edge; cut 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) slits in from the edge, 1/2 inch (1 cm) apart. Fold in alternate strips to form a border or 'crown'. Prick the base with a fork. Line with
greaseproof paper and a layer of baking beans.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until pastry shape is set. Remove paper and beans; bake for a further 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. To make the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring frequently. Stir in the spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Leave to cool.
6. Beat the eggs and cream with a balloon whisk. Stir in the spinach mixture and cheese. Pour into the pastry case. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set.

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