Yesterday was Autumn Equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. We celebrated with a dinner made from this year’s harvest – things I took home from the market because we couldn’t sell them but that were still perfectly okay.
If you make this quiche don’t underestimate the time it will take (I absolutely did).
Actual making time: ~20min
Cooling time: 40min
Baking time (incl. blind baking): ~60min
For the pastry:
110g butter, cold
For the filling:
100g grated cheese
2 medium eggplants
200-300g spinach (frozen or fresh)
salt, pepper, thyme, nutmeg
To make the pastry knead the flour into the butter until you have fine crumbs. Add two tablespoons of cold water and knead into an even dough. Form a ball, wrap in saran and put to cool for 20min. After that, roll the dough out between two sheets of lining paper or saran wrap to get a smooth surface to a size comfortably filling your tin. Lay out the dough in your tarte tin, if you have leftovers put them aside and use them to cut out decorations later if you like to. Cool for another 20min. Pre-heat your oven to ~200°C
Use a fork to prick small holes into the bottom of the pastry. Put a sheet of lining paper on the dough, fill the tin with lentils, chickpeas or something similar to weigh it down and blind-bake for 15min.
Prepare the filling by whisking eggs, milk and cheeses together and season to taste with salt, pepper and thyme. Season the spinach with a tiny bit of nutmeg (and, if you use frozen spinach, thaw and press it dry first).
Cut eggplants, apple and carrots into fine strips. Use a peeler for the carrots (slice them in half vertically first, this makes it far easier) and slice the eggplants in half before cutting them to make them about the same height as the carrot strips. Make normal apple slices first, too, it’s easier to make finer slices later.
After blind-baking let the pastry cool for a few minutes and reduce the heat to about 180°C, then pour in your filling. Bake for 10min.
The filling should have slightly set after that. Begin adding the vegetables by rolling two or three carrot strips together so they form a spiral or rose and plant it in the middle of the quiche. It should stick lightly to the set filling at the bottom. Then proceed by working from the outside to the inside and layer the vegetable strips along the edge of the tin, overlapping slightly. Add an apple slice once in a while and don’t layer the strips too tightly. Fill in any gaps with spinach, sprinkle with salt, add dough decorations if you have any and bake for ~45min until the egg-milk-cheese filling has set.
If you don’t like eggplant you can use pumpkin or zucchini instead, just make sure it’s something that you can slice up nicely for the spiral effect.
For a side salad I’d recommend something mustardy, adding red frills (a kind of mustard greenery) to something more hearty like a curled lettuce makes for a nice addition. And yes, that’s the only picture of the complete quiche I managed to take before we dug in. And I promise there will be better pictures again in the near future, too.
I hope you all had a nice Equinox!