Christmas movie recipe inspiration #1 with my classic cheese pizza....Read More
Squash Stilton Quiche
The best combination of blue cheese with sweet roasted assorted squash in a creamy herb custard that is encased in a crumbly butter pie crust which makes for a perfect lunch quiche.
I must be honest, no one in my house eats blue cheese. I love all kinds of cheese however when you have almost a kilo worth of blue cheese at home it only made sense that I use it to make something delicious which we could all enjoy. The best way to counter act the sharp flavor of blue cheese is to add sweet and spicy ingredients, this balances out the dish and you don’t taste the sharpness on its own.
There are 3 parts to this recipe: 1.The Crust, 2.The Savory Custard and 3.The Roasted Squash. You can make the the crust in advance, this will help reduce the preparation time on the day you are baking the quiche. I make this crust in a food processor as it is easier but you can just as well make it by hand which yields a good crust as well.
The ingredients you need to make the crust is simple but its the technique of preparing it that makes all the difference. You need flour, butter, salt and cold water to make the crust. You can add dried herbs, crushed black pepper or some spices into the crust but I like to keep it simple. You mix the flour and cold butter (has to be cold when preparing the dough) together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the cold water, little at a time until it forms a dough. Do not over work it. Bring together and let it chill for at least an hour before rolling out and baking.
I like to blind bake all my pie crusts even if we are making an open tart or a single layered pie as this ensures no soggy bottom and a crispy golden crust. I usually bake my pies/tarts/quiche in an 8/9 inch round which take 22 mins baking blind and another 40 mins to bake with the filling at 180℃. This pie crust dough can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just make sure to wrap the dough in cling film and then a zip lock bag as you don’t want it to dry out in the freezer. If you want a detailed recipe on this head to my Perfect Pie Crust recipe.
2.The Savory Custard Filling
This is a cheese based custard filling and we are using Stilton. In this case a blue cheese that has a sharp flavor. It might be a little peculiar smelling or tasting for anyone who has never had it before but if you pair it with the right accompaniments its like a symphony of sharp, sweet, sour, salty that work well with each other. I had a good amount of stilton laying around the house after the holidays and with squash season coming to an end, it only made sense to use them up together.
The custard starts off on a positive note with eggs, this helps bind the mixture as it bakes – I am afraid you cannot skip the eggs in this recipe. We then add cooking cream and milk and whisk until smooth. Now comes the best part, we crumble in the cheese and we want to keep it fairly chunky as it will melt down once it bakes but still maintain pockets of cheese here and there. I like to add fresh thyme and dried oregano into the mixture but tarragon or rosemary work well too. We add diced apricots and pitted dates into the custard, which might seem strange but keep in mind the cheese is sharp so we want some sweetness to help counter that. Essentially we are making a cheeseboard in quiche form. I add a couple tablespoons of corn flour but you can use regular flour as well, this helps the melted cheese to hold its shape once baked. Season more with pepper but also with a little salt, be mindful of the salt as the cheese is relatively salty.
3. The Roasted Squash
You can use any squash you like, I used a mixture of butternut squash and pumpkin that I cut into chunks and roasted. I leave the skins on but I season them with salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil. This gives them a beautiful flavor once roasted. After they have cooled down I remove the skins and use them as needed. Ensure the chunks are similar in sizes as that will determine the cooking time. I roast them for 25 mins at 180℃.
As much as getting the parts accurately ready are important it is as important to bring this quiche together. After my pastry crust is blind baked I remove the baking beans from the crust and fill it with my roasted squash chunks. I pour over the custard mixture that has the crumbled cheese and dried fruit. Gently place in an oven for 40-45 mins at 170℃ until the top is golden and puffy. The center should still have a little wobble to it, this means the custard is cooked but just set. Remove it from the oven and let it cool at room temperature for an hour before chilling for 2 hours. Cut into it once it is fully chilled as this helps the custard set as well.
I love to serve this quiche with a green salad including bay spinach, arugula, rocket and some corn. It pairs well with wine, ideally white wine or even sparkling wine works well here. It is an indulgent slice but that’s why we balance it out with a little fiber from the salad. You can add a little paprika over the top when serving, my mum loved it with the paprika but you can also a little chili sauce (don’t hate me for suggesting it).
Now that we have covered this recipe in detail, let us actually make it. Happy baking Ninjas!
Squash Stilton Quiche
- Large mixing bowls
- Baking tray
- Round tin (9 inch)
- Cling film
- Baking paper
- Baking beans (legumes)
- 330 gm Flour
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 230 gm Butter cold and cut into cubes
- 110 gm Ice water literally ice in water, might need some more or less
- 15 ml Vodka/Vinegar
- 350 gm Squash I used Butternut and Pumpkin
- 15 ml Olive oil
- 5 gm Sage
- Pinch of Salt
- Pinch of Pepper
- 250 gm Stilton crumbled
- 40 gm Apricots diced
- 40 gm Dates diced
- 3 eggs
- 150 ml Cooking cream
- 100 ml Milk
- 50 ml Yogurt
- 45 gm Fresh parsley chopped
- 5 gm Fresh thyme
- 5 gm Dried oregano
- 5 gm Crushed pepper
- Pinch of Salt
To make the Crust:
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and briefly mix until mixed through. Add the cubed butter into the flour and toss around to coat well. Break the pieces of butter apart with the tips of your fingers again to create walnut/pecan sized pieces of the butter. Keep tossing in the flour to coat evenly.
- Add 3/4 amount of the water into the flour and butter mixture and stir in a circular motion to bring it together. Add tablespoons of water as required to bring together. Once it comes together, where the dough is not sticky or has any dry flour pockets, turn out onto a surface and briefly knead, bringing it together.
- Divide into two discs and wrap in cling film. Leave to chill for a minimum of 1 hour to firm up. Roll one disc of the dough out between two pieces of cling film until larger than the pie dish. Line the pie dish with the dough and dock with a fork all over the pastry and trim the excess dough using a pair of scissors and leaving a good 2 inches of the dough to over hang.
- Take the dough that is over hanging over the pie dish and tuck it under itself to create a thicker crust rim/edge. Crimp/decorate as you like.
- Place a large piece of baking parchment over the top. Add dried legumes/grains and bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 15 or so until lightly golden on the sides and dry to the touch.
- Remove the baking parchment and dried legumes. This crust is only partially baked hence it still needs to bake further which we will do in the assembly section.
To make the Roasted Squash
- Preheat the oven to 180℃. Cut the squash into chunks and add into a baking tray. Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper) and mix together until well coated.
- Roast in the oven for 20-25 mins until soft. Remove from the oven and peel off the skin. Set aside.
To make the Savory Custard
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the cream, yogurt and milk, beat again until combined. Add add the other ingredients and stir together to combine.
- Place the roasted squash in the blind baked pie crust and pour over the custard mixture. Bake at 180℃ for 40-45 mins until the top is golden brown and a little puffed up. When you shake it there must be a wobble in the center.
- Let it cool for an hour at room temperature before placing in the fridge for 2 hours minimum.
- Slice and serve with a green salad and some corn.
- Food Processor option for the crust: In a food processor pulse the flour and cold butter until fine breadcrumbs. Add the water tablespoon at a time and keep pulsing until a dough forms. Divide the dough into two halves. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
- You can use any squash you like I love the flavor of butternut as it roasts and I had pumpkin but zucchini would also work here and orange pumpkin would work too.
- You can use raisins or some jam in place of the apricots and dates.