Spinach, Gruyère and ham quiche

Great for lunch or for a party, this spinach, gruyère and ham quiche is so simple to make. Mary Berry uses tangy gruyère cheese to really lift the flavours.

Introduction

Sometimes the simplest additions or tweaks to a basic recipe can really change the flavour of a dish. Here, using a strong-flavoured tangy cheese, such as Gruyère, really lifts this quiche and, in my opinion, makes it one of the tastiest ever.

PREPARE AHEAD
This will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge once cooked.

FREEZE
Wrap the cooked quiche in clingfilm and foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight.

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the pastry:
175g (6oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g (4oz) butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp water
For the filling:
a knob of butter
1 onion, chopped
baby spinach
4 eggs, beaten
300ml (½ pint) double cream
100g (4oz) ham, diced
100g (4oz) Gruyère or Emmental cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Essential kit

You will need a deep, 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed fluted flan tin, a baking tray and baking beans.

Instructions

1. You will need a deep, 23cm (9in) loose-bottomed fluted flan tin, a baking tray and baking beans. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

2. To make the pastry, measure the flour and butter into a food processor. Whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or place in a mixing bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your
fingertips). Add the egg and water to the dry mixture and mix until it forms a soft but not sticky dough.

3. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll out the pastry to a circle large enough to line the base and sides of the tin. Press on to the base and sides and trim the top edge. Prick the base all over with a fork. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until just coloured, remove the beans and foil and bake for a further 5 minutes to dry out.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas 4. Place a heavy baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

5. To make the filling, melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for about 5 minutes or until softened.

6. Place the spinach in a colander in the sink, then pour a kettle of boiling water over the spinach until it wilts. Squeeze out as much water as possible and pat the spinach with kitchen towel.

7. Beat the eggs and cream together and season with salt and black pepper.

8. Place the onion in the pastry case then top with the ham and spinach. Pour over the cream and egg mixture and sprinkle with the cheese.

9. Place the tin on the preheated baking tray and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until golden brown and just set in the centre.

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