I was always under the impression that making quiche was a serious undertaking, left only for those with ample unscheduled time on their hands or a patisserie qualification. But after mastering the fritatta and the strata, finding both way easier than I had imagined, quiche seemed the next appropriate brunchy egg dish. Turns out, it’s pretty easy …especially if you cheat and use the pre-packaged crust that has been sitting in your freezer for 6 months! Sure, it would have painted a prettier picture if it was a homemade crust, but, well, this is a realistic blog after all, not an aspirational one. The cooking and eating adventures I share are ones that happen in the midst of life with three other people. And in this life pre-made crusts happen. And they are totally acceptable. Especially when used to achieve something more important, like time spent together with people you love.
Making your own shortcrust pastry is actually pretty easy, I’ll admit. A few years ago, before children I took a ‘stay-cation’ which I used as a great excuse for long and elaborate kitchen experiments. I made puff pastry from scratch one day, succeeding in both making a delicious flaky pastry (go me!), and coming to the full understanding why professional chefs often advise you to just buy the packaged stuff. After three hours of hand slicing butter and flour together, really, store bought puff pastry is only ever so slightly inferior than the handmade variety, plus you don’t have sore forearms or the feeling you are sweating butter afterwards from using it.
I digress. Shortcut pastry- not super challenging if you’ve got a bit of time. But sometimes, the more important focus is the eating the meal all together, stress-free with the company you’ve made it for, or the playing with the kids, or the sleeping in (it’s the weekend after all) or the second cup of coffee and aimless puttering about. You can have your cake (quiche) and eat it too and not feel guilty about the shortcuts. No shame or guilt here!
Spinach Quiche with Bacon and Cheese adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 3 eggs
- 300g (approx 10-11oz) chopped spinach- either from frozen (thawed & drained) or fresh (wilted & chopped w/heavy stems removed)
- 60g or approx 1/2 cup grated cheddar, packed
- 60g or approx 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, packed
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 strips of streaky bacon, fried, drained and diced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 prepackaged shortcrust pastry
Roll out, prepare and follow baking instructions on prepackaged crust. I used a loose based round 12″ flat tin, so I got that pretty ridged crust. Some prepackaged ones suggest you do a blind bake first…
If oven is at a different temp from your pie crust, set to 200C/400F°. Beat cream cheese with a whisk in large bowl until smooth. Then, gradually beat in milk and eggs to make your custard. With a wooden spoon, mix in spinach, onions, cheese, thyme and bacon. Pour your custard mixture into the prepared crust and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.