Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Wedding and A Quiche Recipe

We went to a lovely wedding last weekend. As a nine-year-old the bride had helped open our presents at our wedding and now it was her turn. Having watched 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

Once long ago, pastry was a terrifying mystery to me. I loved it, but it did not love me. So I avoided it in the kitchen and gave quiches a wide berth.

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
Pinch salt
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.


  1. Mmm...I adore quiche! I'll add this recipe to my collection of quiche recipes. My most basic is broccoli, chopped finely and sauteed with a tiny bit of olive oil and garlic, or green onion and zucchini. Sometimes I add bacon or ham. I don't usually use real cream, but I sometimes use yogurt, which adds a creaminess. Now I'm hungry. I usually make mini-quiches in muffin tins and put them out at parties.

  2. Those sound like great fillings, edj. I've never tried using yoghurt instead of cream. I sometimes use half cream and half milk, but using all cream definitely sets better and gives a firmer richer filling. I'd like to try out yoghurt too some time. I like making mini-quiches for special picnics, but don't do it very often as it is more fiddly than just making one big one.

  3. How lovely to get married under an ancient oak tree. You can keep Westminster Abbey, I can't imagine a better setting.

  4. I agree, SS, an oak tree definitely beats Westminster Abbey, and we managed to ward off all those pesky heads of state too!

  5. Oh, Kit - here goes a massive comment section - get ready!

    First, as I sipped my freshly poured glass of sherry and started reading this post, I thought you said the bride was nine years old and nearly choked to death. I am now recovered, and have re-read what you actually said, and am able to continue on without danger of death.

    Second, I think it's wonderful that you also watch your wedding video every year. Bear and I do that too! Except for the past two years, because seeing my dad and my grandmother just got me too choked up and I didn't think I could hack it.

    Third, I LOVE the movie "Four Weddings and a Funeral", and was just thinking about showing it to our friends on movie night! Serendipity. Or Kismet. Whichever.

    Fourth, I love home-made weddings. The bride's dress is gorgeous - wish I could see the front! (HINT HINT) More pics, please!

    Fifth - I love home-made quiche! Since we're a Paleo household, there's no crust on mine. I just layer bacon or ham, eggs beaten with a drop of cream, a handful of cheese, chopped and sauteed onions, and some chopped up random veggies or tomatoes in a glass pie dish that's been well greased, and eat it that way! YUM!

    I am so ready for dinner right now.

  6. I love the idea of compiling a recipe book for the bride. Your recipe is a wonderful addition :)

  7. Wow Marcheline - an epic comment! Sorry to nearly cause your demise with my phraseology!
    We need to transfer our video onto a DVD now as are video player no longer functions and I would hate it to be lost to posterity.
    And we love Four Weddings and a Funeral, as do the kids, now they are old enough to watch it in the unexpurgated version with the F-word... which I was severely tempted to quote as we bundled into the car late for this wedding, with hair unbrushed and present barely wrapped!
    Will post some more pics just for you!
    Paleo quiche sounds a great idea, especially for when you can't be bothered with making pastry.

  8. Tandy, the wedding recipe book is a great idea, only wish we'd thought of it when it was our wedding.


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!