Meike Peters, House & Garden UK
December is a good month. We sing along to Christmas carols, eat too many cookies and enjoy far too much mulled wine. We dare to skip our duties to share a few more precious moments with the ones we love. The festive perfume of fir and spices mixes with the buttery smell of baked goods and turns the house into the cosiest place on earth. A golden spinach and Gorgonzola quiche is just the right dish to begin a month of exuberant feasting.
Serves 4 to 8
For the pastry
2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1⁄2 cup plus 1 tbsp (130 g) unsalted butter, cold
1 large egg
For the filling
18 ounces (500 g) trimmed spinach leaves
5 large eggs
3⁄4 cup (175 g) sour cream (or crème fraı̂che)
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1 tsp fine sea salt
Finely ground pepper
Nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
3 ounces (85 g) Gorgonzola, cut into small pieces
For the pastry, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the butter and use a knife to cut it into the flour until there are just small pieces left. Quickly rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until combined. Add the egg and mix with the hook until crumbly. Form the dough into a thick disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
For the filling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach for about 11/2 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a colander, drain and quickly rinse with cold water. Leave the spinach in the colander to cool for 5 minutes then squeeze until it’s quite dry and roughly chop.
On a work surface, place the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll out into a disc, large enough to line the bottom and sides of a 12-inch (30 cm) quiche dish. Fit the dough into the quiche dish, pushing it into the dish, especially along the edges. Let the dough hang over the rim a little or trim with a knife. Use a fork to prick the dough all over. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. If the dough bubbles up, push it down with a fork. Take the quiche dish out of the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C).
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, heavy cream, salt and generous amounts of pepper and nutmeg. Spread the spinach on top of the pre-baked pastry and cover with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden and firm. Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
A recipe from 365: A Year of Everyday Cooking and Baking by Meike Peters (Prestel).