In the Name of Pie Day, I thought I would bake a Spinach and Bacon Quiche tonight and then share the recipe with you. One could argue over the definition of a pie and whether or not a quiche falls into this category. Granted a quiche does not have a lid, but it is a filled shortcrust pastry. So in my repertoire a quiche is definitely a pie.
This particular quiche was one of my childhood favourite. My mum used to make it all the time for us when we were young. I then rediscovered it during my first year working in London. I like making a large quiche on a Sunday night and then taking it to work with me for lunch. It is a much cheaper alternative to the typical office sandwich.
To be honest, for a while, I had forgotten how much I love baking. I am ashamed to say that I mainly lived of ready meals in my last years at University. Now that I have regained my weekends and evenings, I try to cook and bake more frequently. There is just something particularly relaxing about pastry.
Honestly, this recipe is really easy. There really is no reason to be scared of shortcrust pastry. And the great thing about this recipe is that it is extremely adaptable. You can fill the quiche with almost anything. So if you’re not a huge fan of good old spinach, just be creative and pick ingredients you particularly like.
INGREDIENTS FOR A SPINACH AND BACON QUICHE
STEP 1: PREPARE THE DOUGH
1# Start by preparing the Pastry. Sift the Flour and the Salt into a bowl. Try to hold the sieve as high as possible in order to aerate the Flour. Ensure that your Butter and Lard are at room temperature and cut the required amount into small cube. Add these to the flour.
2# Now use your fingers to bring together the butter, lard and flour. Be gentle. As you rub the butter and lard into the flour lift it up and then let it fall back into the bowl. This will aerate your pastry and keep it light and fluffy. You are looking for a crumbly consistency.
3# Then it is time to make a ball out of the pastry. Add a little water. Just one Tablespoon of Water to start off with. If you need to add more, be cautious. You don’t want this pastry to become overly moist.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FILLING
1# While your dough is resting, prepare your filling. I used fresh spinach for this quiche, but you can also use the frozen variety. If you do use frozen spinach, try to get rid of some of the water first. Just let it defrost in a sieve above your sink and then gently pat it down with some kitchen paper. I just ripped the spinach leaves into smaller chunks with my hands.
2# Now chop and fry your onion and bacon. I like to use my kitchen scissors to cut up my bacon. I just find it so much easier to cut through the fat this way.
3# In a large jug whisk together the eggs and the milk, with a little salt and pepper.
STEP 3: ROLL OUT THE PASTRY FOR YOUR QUICHE
1# Place the rested dough on a lightly floured surface and the start rolling out your pastry. Keep turning the pastry as you roll it out, in order to ensure an even shape. And remember to always roll the pin forwards and backwards and not from side to side, so that the pastry doesn’t shrink when you bake it. You want the rolled out pastry to be a good bit larger than the tin you will be baking it in.
2# Transfer the pastry to the tin and gently press it down. Make sure to press it into all the corners and against the sides. Then trim off the excess with a knife. I then to use the leftover pastry to reinforce the base and sides of the quiche. Now press the pastry up against the edges so that it sits slightly proud of the tin.
STEP 4: BAKE THE PASTRY OF THE QUICHE
1# Cover the pastry with some foil. If you have baking beans you can use these to blind bake the pastry. Alternatively you can also use dried pulses or rice. Or just pop the pastry into the freezer for 20 minutes to set it.
2# Now bake the pastry in a pre-heated oven at 190C. After 15 minutes remove the pastry, peel of the tin foil, brush the base and the sides with some beaten egg and pop the pastry back into the oven for another 8 to 10 minutes. This will provide a moisture proof coating and ensure your pastry remains nice and crisp.
STEP 5: SPINACH AND BACON QUICHE FINAL TOUCHES
Fill the pastry with your chosen filling. Remember that the fresh spinach leaves will reduce in size. So do add a good amount of them and just pile them right up. Pour the egg and milk mixture evenly over the leaves. Finally place the quiche in the oven for 35 minutes or until the filling is set.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you decide to make a quiche of your own, please send me pictures. I would love to see them.