A good quiche recipe will make anybody’s eyes light up on sight. There is something about the combination of a flaky crust plus the egg filling which so many people find comforting. It is a dish that can be served any time of day, in the morning for breakfast, at lunch with a small salad, as a side with your main for dinner, or all on its own as a hearty snack. Quiches are also extremely versatile, you can fill them a variety of vegetables, cheeses, and meats to make your favorite type.
This particular quiche is made with spinach, caramelized fennel and a hint of feta cheese to add a slightly creamy/salty bite. The key to making this delectable dish is to cook everything in stages and then combine them all together in the pastry shell when it’s ready to bake. A dish that can be served during Ramadan for iftar, suhoor, or any time of year!
Preheat the oven to 218°C or 425°F after the dough has been prepared (see recipe below) or follow directions for store bought crust.
When you're ready to bake remove the quiche pan from the fridge and cover with parchment paper lined (covering the dough completely) with beans or rice on top. Remember to press the beans/rice into the edges and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Directions for the Quiche:
Reduce heat to 180°C or 350°F. In a medium sauté pan heat 1 tbsp of Noor Oil to a medium temperature, add the chopped onion and garlic, sauté until soft and then add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes and set aside.
Next, heat a medium cast iron or stainless steel pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp of Noor Oil to the pan and bring to a high temperature. Now add the thinly sliced fennel spreading it out in the pan to encourage browning. Add the salt and pepper, plus a pinch of the crushed red pepper. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping the fennel slices every few minutes, until golden brown. Remove the fennel from the pan and drain off any excess Noor Oil. Squeeze lemon juice, to taste, set aside.
Cover the pastry base with the cooked spinach, caramelized fennel, and crumbled feta. Now whisk together the cream and egg, season to taste and pour into pastry base. Bake in oven for 30- 40 minutes or until golden and set.
Directions for the Crust:
In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
Separate the dough into thirds. *Note: Separating it into thirds will result in three thin crusts. If you prefer a more substantial crust, separate it in half.* Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow it to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your quiche pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the quiche pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge. (Crust Recipe courtesy: Pioneer Woman)
Put the quiche pan with the dough back into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Quiche can be served any time of day, in the morning for breakfast, at lunch with a small salad and as a side with your main for dinner or all on its own as a hearty snack. Quiches are also extremely versatile, you can fill them a variety of vegetables, cheeses, and meats to make your favourite type.