I just love a cheese and spinach quiche! Unfortunately, my middle son can’t eat spinach. It’s not that he doesn’t like it, it’s just that it makes him really hyper, defiant and aggressive….like so many fruits and vegetables. I have really missed spinach and silverbeet but never thought to use buk choy as a substitute. A few months ago, I stumbled across a gluten free rough puff pastry recipe but didn’t have all the ingredients, nor the time to follow the recipe strictly, so once again, I improvised and tweaked and came up with a really delicious recipe of my own. This is when I discovered my savoury flour blend that I now use all the time for many things. So with the cooler weather now here, I decided I would have a go at making a quiche with buk choy. I made a dairy free pastry this time and found the texture of the raw dough very different to my first batch a few months ago where I used butter. I was quite surprised to see that the dough looked like a very thick batter and wondered if it was going to be a complete failure, fretting that I wasn’t going to be able to have a proper quiche for dinner, instead a crustless “flan”. I popped the finished dough in the fridge (in the mixing bowl as I didn’t dare trying to roll it into a ball) and after about an hour it had firmed up enough to form into a ball then roll out to make my pie. What a relief!
This recipe makes enough pastry for 2 pies
1 quantity of savoury flour blend
1 tsp of finely ground salt
350 g of cold nuttelex or butter
180 ml of iced soda water
In an electric mixer, using the dough kneading attachments, mix the flour, salt and non dairy spread or butter until well combined and resembling very rough bread crumbs. Add the soda water and mix until smooth. If using butter, remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for half an hour. If using non dairy spread, leave the “batter” in the bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for no less than 1 hour. If you’re in a hurry, you could pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and, working quickly, turn out onto a floured board and form into a ball then cut it in half. Place on some baking paper (for easier handling) and roll out to about 2 to 3 mm thick. Pick up the dough using the baking paper and turn onto a greased pie or flan dish. Peel the paper off carefully then gently press the dough into the edges. If using non dairy spread, you’ll find that the dough is very fragile but also very pliable so it is easy to fix any holes that may form by pressing a little extra dough over it. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before adding the filling
Mock spinach filling
1 leek cut in half lengthways and sliced
4 buk choys with the stems removed and the leaves roughly chopped
8 large eggs
225 g of ricotta (optional)
pinch of salt
oil for sauteeing
Preheat oven to 180° C. Heat the oil in a fry pan over high heat. Cook the leek until just tender. Add the buk choy and cook until just wilted. Allow to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs until well combined then mash the ricotta and beat into the eggs. Add a pinch of salt. Remove the prepared pastry from the fridge. Evenly place about 1/2 of the leek and buk choy on the bottom. Pour over a little egg then add some more of the buk choy and leek, more egg, another layer of the vegies then the remaining egg mix. Yes, it seems a little fiddly but it ensures an even blend of vegies and egg when the quiche is cooked. Place in the oven on the middle rack and cook for about 1 hour. You’ll know it’s cooked through when it is all puffed up and browned on top. To be 100% sure, cut into it and if there is any liquid, cook a little longer. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting. The pastry is very fragile when straight from the oven but hardens slightly as it cools.