Last weekend, it felt like we were really starting to see the first signs of Spring.
With a soul-crushing inevitability though, this week has turned out to be cold and wet and grey.
Last weekend though, I went out wearing jeans and sparkly flat shoes rather than boots. I bought a light summer coat and some seriously adorable anchor print trousers. It was sunny and, even better, it was warm in the sunshine.
I was full of anticipation for the end of winter and enthusiasm for warmer temperatures. It seemed logical for me to channel that excitement into a quiche.
I always think of quiche as a summer food mainly because I have a slightly odd aversion to warm quiche. I think/hope that everyone has these funny little quirks about their eating habits and one of mine is most definitely the temperature of food. I like very hot food and I like cold food. I dislike anything in between. The idea of eating something at room temperature makes me feel slightly nauseous. There are some foods that I will only eat hot (like rice, for example) and there are some foods, like quiche, that I will only eat cold.
And so, a slice of quiche should, in my opinion, be enjoyed cold with a light salad and a glass of white wine on a balmy evening.
Even this week, when it seems like winter is fighting back and I’m glad that I still had a pair of gloves in my coat pocket, a little of this quiche every day for lunch has given me a moment of hope.
Leek, lemon and feta quiche
Lightly adapted from Food 52
Yield: Serves 6
This is a really lovely quiche that combines a lot of my very favourite flavours. My pastry was made from whole grain einkorn flour (for more information about einkorn flour, have a look at Shanna’s incredibly informative post). For those of you in the UK, Dove’s Farm makes a brand of einkorn flour which you can buy direct from them although it’s also stocked by Ocado. The 100% whole grain pastry may not be to everyone’s taste – I happen to think it works very nicely with the bright flavours of the quiche – so feel free to use your favourite pastry or just, as the original recipe suggests, a sheet of puff pastry.
- 200g (1 3/4 cups) einkorn flour
- 100g (1 stick less 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, cold
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 leeks, washed and chopped into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup of creme fraiche
- 3 eggs
- The zest of half a lemon
- Black pepper
- 75g (3 oz) crumbled feta cheese
To make the pastry, whizz together the flour, butter and salt in a food processor until you have little pea-sized lumps of butter. Add the egg and pulse until just combined.
Gather the pastry together in a ball, press to flatten and wrap in plastic film. Chill for 30 minutes.
When the pastry as chilled, roll it out flat and line a 19cm tart tin (preferably with a removable bottom). Place the tart tin in the freezer for another half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (fan). Prick the pastry with a fork and line it with some non-stick paper and fill with baking beans. Blind bake for 8 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 -7 minutes until the pastry is dry to the touch.
While the pastry is blind baking, you can make the filling by gently sauteing the leeks in the olive oil over a low heat for 5 – 10 minutes until soft.
When the pastry is blind baked, fill it with the cooked leeks.
Whisk together the creme fraiche, eggs, lemon zest and a generous grind of black pepper.
Pour the liquid over the leeks and top with the crumbled feta. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
Serve hot or, as I prefer, cold.