Continuing my theme of working through the Christmas Leftovers…. I had one of those serendipitous moments when I picked up a cookbook (Ottolenghi’s Plenty More, a welcome Christmas gift), opened a page at random and realised that I had all the ingredients that I needed. Of course I couldn’t resist making some little changes… a little less oil, a little less richness by reducing the cream and quantity of cheese. So his Membrillo and Stilton Quiche has become Squash, Stilton and Quince Tart (too many Ss and Qs to leave it called Quiche…).
Continuing with my current passion for making my own pastry, I rustled up some light and crumbly shortcrust – but you can use ready made and it will still taste good.
I used butternut squash, which has been waiting for me to find an inspiring recipe, but you could use any kind of pumpkin or winter squash. I may try something similar with other vegetables like beetroot. In fact, the idea of a roasted vegetable and blue cheese crustless quiche has me rather excited now…
If you have a chunk of Stilton left, that is perfect for this. Actually I was surprised at how mellow it became after cooking, perhaps because I am more accustomed to using Roquefort as a blue cheese, which is indeed a good deal more tangy. That or any strong blue cheese would make acceptable alternatives.
Perhaps you are lucky enough to have your own Quinces and have made yourself some Quince Paste or Jelly or Cheese, or have been given some for Christmas? I find it keeps well for months in the fridge, but it also freezes well. You may find it in the Spanish section of a store as Membrillo, or in French it is called Pate de Coing. If you don’t have any you could perhaps substitute some other thick fruit jelly or I thought of using some chunks of stoned dates. Failing that, some chunks of peeled pear could be an interesting match, but the sticky sweetness of the quince paste does work beautifully.
I served it with a lively ‘tricolour’ salad of young Spinach leaves with finely shredded Fennel and topped with Pomegranate Seeds, drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Absolutely delicious seasonal fare. Each serving only 410 calories for the tart and 72 for the salad, so this could even be a meal on a fast day.
So with thanks to Ottolenghi, here is my version of Squash, Stilton and Quince Quiche:-
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
- 150g plain flour
- 75g unsalted butter
- ½ tsp salt
- extra flour for rolling out
- 125g Blue Stilton Blue Cheese, crumbled
- 50g Quince Paste (or Membrillo), cut into small cubes
- 125ml Creme Fraiche
- 125ml milk
- 3 eggs
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200c (fan).
- Cut the squash into smallish cubes, about 2cm, spread on a baking tray and toss in the olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning half way, until soft and starting to brown at the edges, then leave aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry.
- Chop the butter into the flour and salt and then rub together until like breadcrumbs.
- Add enough cold water to just form a dough.
- Roll out thinly in a floured surface and transfer to a lightly greased or non stick 24cm flan dish.
- Leave to chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 180c (fan).
- Cover the pastry with baking parchment and beans and blind bake for about 10 minutes, then remove the paper and bake for a further 5 - 10 minutes until lightly cooked.
- Whisk the eggs with the cream and milk and season to taste.
- Distribute the squash over the pastry, then the stilton and pieces of quince jelly and pour over the egg mixture.
- Bake for about 40 minutes until set and golden.
- Serve warm.
- I found that 250ml of liquid and 3 eggs was a little too much for my 25cm flan dish, but I have left this quantity in case yours is a little deeper.
- You could add some herbs to the baking squash to vary the flavour.
- Try some chopped stoned dates if you don't have any quince paste.
- Some chopped walnuts or pine nuts would make an interesting crunchy addition.
- The calorie count for this recipe card is somewhat different from my own calculations. I'm not sure why!
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