our wedding video once a year all their lives, our kids now think it’s normal to sit on a picnic blanket and open all the wedding presents there and then, so they were rather disappointed to hear that they were unlikely to see the pressies being opened at this one. I had to explain that baking a batch of cookies as a gift might not be a good idea, because some couples even wait till after the honeymoon to open their wedding presents. How could that be possible!
Weddings are exciting and infrequent events for our girls. It’s a far cry from Four Weddings and a Funeral where Hugh Grant wakes up and says wearily, “Who is it this Saturday?” As soon as they heard that our friends had become engaged, it was, "When is the wedding?" and "Will they have bridesmaids?" They are just the right age to enjoy an occasion to dress up and have an important role to play, so were thrilled when they were asked to be flower girls. Youngest already had the perfect dress and Middle Daughter had her first ever shopping expedition dedicated to finding her the perfect dress, exhausting but successful.
They were married under an ancient oak tree in a completely home-made ceremony that involved all their family and of course the strewing of rose petals by the flower girls. The girls said it was the best wedding they’d ever been to!
And the quiches? The maid of honour organised all the guests to contribute a recipe to a book she was compiling for them. Due to a long-standing, if rather well-worn in-joke, my sister-in-law and I both decided to provide our quiche recipes. I immediately searched through my blog, convinced that I must have shared the recipe at least once in the last seven years (Yes, it’s coming up to my seven year blogiversary already!) only to find that I never had put the whole recipe up. Once I’d posted a pea quiche recipe, once a sweet plum quiche, but never my staple spinach and feta quiche recipe with pastry instructions attached. So here it is, along with a little of the story that goes with it.
Spinach and Feta Quiche Recipe
That is until one day, when we still lived in the cottage and Youngest was a new baby, Kirsty (the daughter of our dear friend Ursie, who was a home-cooking inspiration and who had recently died of cancer) offered to show me how her mother made hers: the pastry turned out to be simple, no great secrets and it’s been working perfectly ever since.
So here are my jotted notes from Kirsty’s impromptu lesson. She, being her mother’s daughter, didn’t need a recipe to work from, but I usually refer back to my notes just in case I lose the magic touch!
Pastry for quiche or any other savoury tart
1 cup cake flour
50g cold, hard butter
Iced water to mix
The only secret of pastry seems to be keeping it all cold. So use the butter straight from the fridge and use icy cold water to mix it.
1. Cut the butter into dice and rub it quickly and lightly into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
2. Mix in the iced water a little at a time until it comes together as a dough. It might need half a cup of water or more or less. Just add it a tablespoon or so at a time, stirring with a knife. When there is enough water, it will knead into to a ball of dough quickly. It should be soft but not sticky.
3. Wrap the pastry ball in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
4. Roll out the pastry thin enough to fit a roughly 23cm dish or tin.
5. Blind bake: put piece of foil or greaseproof paper in the pastry case, fill it with dry beans to weight it down and bake at 190C for 10-15 minutes.
Filling for Spinach and Feta Quiche
3 large eggs
1 cup of cream
1 bunch of spinach
1 round of feta (from those Simonsberg pots)
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
Steam or boil one bunch of spinach or swiss chard until just tender. Drain well and chop roughly, discarding the liquid as it oozes.
Chop or crumble one round of feta cheese into small pieces.
Beat together cream and eggs and season with salt and pepper
Once the pastry has blind baked, put the spinach in the bottom of the case, sprinkle over the feta, pour in the egg mixture. If you like nutmeg, grate a little over the top.
Bake the quiche at 190C for30-40 minutes until golden and set.
You can make the pastry the day before, and roll it out into the dish. Cover it with cling film and keep in the fridge till ready to bake.