Spinach Quiche

 

from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking

 

Use the same proportions of cream, eggs, cheese and butter as for the leek quiche and an 8 inch partially cooked pastry shell.  ( I used 9 inch).   Prepare spinach as follows:

 

An enameled or stainless steel saucepan

2 Tb finely minced shallots or green onion

2 Tb butter

1/14 cups blanched spinach or frozen spinach.  ( I used frozen and recipe follows).

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Pinch of nutmeg

 

Cook the shallots or onions for a moment in the butter.  Add the spinach and stir over moderate heat for several minutes to evaporate all its water. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg and taste for seasoning.  Gradually stir in the spinach into the eggs and cream.  Pour into pastry shell, sprinkle with cheese, dot with butter, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes in top third of a preheated 375 oven.

 

Frozen spinach

 

For each 10 ounce package of frozen spinach

Heavy stainless steel chopping knife

1 ½ Tb butter

¼ tsp salt

Pinch of pepper

Small pinch of nutmeg

 

Unwrap frozen whole, chopped spinach and defrost it just enough so you can slice it by bearing down on the block with a heavy knife.  If the spinach is already chopped , cut the slices into half inch pieces.  If the spinach is whole, chop the slices into small bits.

 

Melt the butter in the saucepan or skillet , then stir in the chopped spinach and seasonings. Cover and cook very slowly for a minute or two, until the spinach has thawed and released its juices.  Uncover, raise the heat, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until all moisture has evaporated.

 

 

The Crust    

  I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for a 9 inch crust, from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.

 

Makes enough for one double crust or two single- crust 9 inch pies.  Martha suggests that all ingredients, including the flour, are cold before beginning.

 

2 ½ cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces

¼ cup ice water, more if needed

 

In bowl of food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine.  Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining about 10 seconds.  To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky.  Do not process more than 30 seconds.  Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at  time.

 

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface.  Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap.  Shape into flattened disks.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.  The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.