Ah, one of my favourite lunch dishes… I could have this every weekend for lunch. This spinach quiche has a corn flour crust which gives it a lovely yellow color and also makes the crust crispier and crumblier. The filling is made of cottage cheese and spinach. I used frozen and packed spinach, just to make my life a bit easier. If you want, use some other vegetables or a mix of veggies; be creative or check my recipe for green veggie quiche.
This spinach quiche however has a homogenous filling which makes it so creamy you would not believe. The filling is rich from the cream cheese, but also mild in flavour so, if yu want, add a kick – a good grinding of black pepper, a sprinkle of coarse salt or chilli flakes or a dollop of heavy cream. I always eat it while it is steaming hot, but it makes great leftovers because it is just as good when served cold from the fridge after the filling had set completely and all the flavours had mixed together. I made myself a solo portion in my Φ16 pan. If you want to make a bigger pie, make 1,5 recipe.
preparation time: about 30 minutes
baking time: 10 minutes, 200°C (400 F)
40 minutes, 170°C (340 F)
baking pan size: Φ16 cm/6,3 in
Ingredients for the pie crust:
120 g cornflour
pinch of salt
50 g cold butter
20 g (1 Tbsp) cream or cottage cheese*
1 egg yolk
Ingredients for the filling:
400 g spinach**
100 g cottage cheese
spices (salt, pepper, chili) to taste
1 eggwhite + 1 whole egg
*I like to buy fresh cheese product that is similar to cottage cheese or ricotta. It can vary in the flavour, I try to use milder tasting for the cakes, but for such diches I don’t mind using the ones that are bit saltier and have more of a sour taste. You can use either cottage cheese or ricotta, or even cream cheese.
** I used frozen block of chopped spinach. If it is in season, go ahead and buy fresh spinach. Wash it and cook it in a big pot of salted boiling water for just around 2 minutes. Drain it and chop it nicely or mash it completely in a food processor.
1. If you have time, it is a good idea to defrost the spinach if you are using a frozen pack. Frozen spinach contains lot of water, so put it over a big sifter to defrost and drain. If you want to take a shortcut, just put the frozen block of spinach in a skillet with high sides, cover with a lid and put it on the stove at low heat. Stir when necessary so it doesn’t burn and let it defrost completely until the liquid has completely evaporated.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400 F) and make the pie crust. Cut the butter into small chunks and, while still very cold, work it in the flour mixed with salt using a food processor or your fingertips.
3. When the butter is well distributed throughout the flour, add soft cheese and eggyolk and mix everything together just until the dough starts to form. If you can pinch it together, you know it is done.
4. Cornflour will not give you silky dough – know that. It gives more of a rustic flavour and texture. So the dough might crack if you roll it and then transfer to a baking pan. Which is why I like to crumble it in my baking pan, roughly distribute around the pan and then using a glass with narrow sides squeeze it to the bottom and against the sides. If you want, you can refrigerate it for 10 minutes, but I usually bake it right away. If your dough seems too soft, cool it for a bit so it doesn’t lose its shape. Before baking, take a fork and prick it few times so it keeps its shape better. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C.
5. While the pie crust is baking, make the filling. Take your defrosted spinach (make sure it is not still boiling hot from the stove if that was how you defrosted it), put it in a bigger bowl and add soft cheese. Mix together using a hand whisk or a spatula.
6. Before adding raw eggs, taste it for seasoning and add spices to taste. Spinach needs to be seasoned well because it tends to be a little flavourless, so take a good pinch of salt, nice grinding of black pepper and, if you like, add some chili flakes. I used my Italian blend of spices.
7. Put an egg and a yolk in a separate bowl and whisk just for a few seconds. This step will make it easier to combine with the spinach. Add them into the spinach and cheese mixture and mix everything together until well combined.
8. After having baked for 10 minutes, take the crust out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 170°C (340 F).
9. Pour the filling into a prebaked pie crust, level it with a spatula and bake at 170°C for around 40 minutes. The center should still be soft and even jiggly a bit, but the sides will be set completely and crust will be golden brown. If you are using a bigger baking pan and making a bigger portion, it may take longer to bake.
10. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes so the filling can set and you don’t burn your mouth. Don’t follow my example and dive right in because it will be harder to cut and you might end up with burned mouth. But you know… I can’t help myself when this thing is near me.
11. Serve this spinach quiche with a dollop of sour cream and a side salad and enjoy with a glass of white wine.