This quiche is perfect for a lunchtime spread or light supper. I love the creaminess, even though I’ve used Elmlea (dairy substitute) to cut down on the calories. Put in the effort to make the pastry, it’s much easier than it looks and rolling out the pastry between a sheet of greaseproof paper is an amazing little cheat. Transferring the pastry into the tin was the part I was dreading the most but the greaseproof paper made it easy, fun even! Vegetarians can sub the salmon for cherry tomatoes or your favourite roasted veg.
For this recipe you will also need a round, loose-bottomed 24cm/10in tart case at least 3.5cm/1½in deep, plus baking beans (or rice, as I used) for baking blind.
Salmon and spinach quiche
For the pastry case
200g/7oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz cold butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 large egg yolk
a little water
For the filling
400g/14oz salmon fillet
a little butter or groundnut oil
salt and black pepper
a bag of spinach
4 large eggs
400ml/14fl oz Elmlea double light
For the pastry case, rub the butter into the flour in a bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add a pinch of salt and give a final mix.
Add the egg yolk and enough water to bring the dough to a firm ball. The less water you add the better, as too much will cause your pastry case to shrink in the oven.
Pat the pastry into a flat round with a little flour and then between a large sheet of folded greaseproof paper, roll out to a rough circle large enough to line the tart tin. This should make the process much easier. Lightly butter the tin, dust it with a small amount of flour, shake out any surplus then lower in the circle of pastry. Push the pastry right into the corner where the rim joins the base without stretching it. Trim the overhanging pastry and fill in any tears or gaps if needed. Place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
Set the oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6. Put a baking sheet in the oven to warm. Line the pastry case with kitchen foil and baking beans/rice grains and slide onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully lift the beans and foil out.
Return the pastry case to the oven for five minutes or until the surface is dry to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the oven temperature down to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
For the filling, place the seasoned salmon in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until the flakes part easily. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little, then break into large pieces. Place the pieces of fish in the tart case.
Wash the spinach and put the still-wet leaves into a saucepan, with a lid and place over a high heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until the leaves wilt a little. Turn the leaves over, let it steam a further few seconds, then remove from the heat, transfer to a sieve and using the back of a wooden spoon, squeeze out as much water as possible.
Place the spinach into the tart case in between the salmon pieces. Gently whisk the eggs and cream, season, and pour into the case and bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Best served warm with a green salad.