We do a pre-Christmas Christmas meal with some of our friends every year. T is an utterly superb cook and we all descended on her house (big kitchen) at the beginning of December. The meat eaters had a duck cooked in wine and things (T didn’t let a little thing like a broken oven stop her) so we were asked to take veggie-friendly dish that would sort of go with stuffing, roasties, cranberry sauce etc… I’ve been meaning to try making a quiche for a while, and settled on a blue cheese and fig one inspired by an Ottolenghi recipe for a blue cheese and quince one. Then C forgot to buy figs. In fact, the whole cooking process was a bit of a disaster… Hey-ho, it tasted good!
You will need:
Pack shortcrust pastry (don’t look at me like that – make your own if you want)
100ml double cream
100ml crème fraiche
Big piece of stilton/gorgonzola/other blue cheese of choice (c.250g)
A squash – butternut, buttercup or carnival
4 figs or a bit of quince cheese/membrillo
Parsley to sprinkle
Set oven to 200 degrees/gas mark 7. Cut the squash into chunks and roast for 30-40mins in a little oil until soft and slightly carmelised round the edges. Leave to cool. Turn the oven down to about 160 degrees, gas mark 3. Line a tin with rolled-out pastry. A loose-bottomed quiche tin would be best, but I used a regular sponge sandwich tin (not very deep) and it worked fine. Prick the base of the pastry case all over with a fork, and chill for a bit. Peel and de-seed the squash chunks.
Line pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with whatever you have. Baking beans obviously best. We didn’t have any. Or any dried beans. I ended up using a tinfoil pouch full of basmati rice. Bake for about 20mins until golden round the edges, then remove beans/rice and bake for another 15 until it’s crispy.
Peel the squash (don’t burn fingers) and mix with the blue cheese, then spoon over the bottom of the tin. Either quarter the figs and push them cut-side up into the squash mix, or dot the squash mix with quince cheese. Whisk the cream, crème fraiche and eggs together and pour into the pastry case. It doesn’t matter if some bits of filling stick out! Bake for about 45mins, until the mixture is set with very little wobble. It will firm up as it cools, but not a huge amount. Mine puffed up rather alarmingly in the oven, but it sank back to normal after a night in the fridge. It travelled a hundred miles on a train, and was then re-heated in a convection oven for 10mins at a low heat, with chopped parsley dotted on top. We ate it with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots and chestnut stuffing. It was incredibly rich and incredibly delicious.