Cheese and Leek Quiche with Roasted Butternut Squash

I know that quiches have a bad rep.  Whilst we might have moved away from the “real men don’t eat quiche” cliche the fact that so many quiches seem to have doughy pastry and a rather eggy filling puts people off eating and making them.

The recipe for this quiche will change your mind.  The pastry is crisp and cheesy, and the filling has a creamy, cheesy and smooth bechamel sauce that is worlds apart from the eggy custard that is often used.  I love using a layer of sautéed leeks in the base and then adding another layer of flavour (such as the roasted squash) before pouring on the sauce and scattering over the cheese and baking. In this version I’ve gone vegetarian but you can use leftover slices of roast chicken or gammon instead of the squash if you want to use up leftovers.  Maybe you could try other roast vegetables such as courgettes, peppers etc.  Throw in some spinach or leftover broccoli. Variations are endless but always end up delicious.  The cooked quiche itself is great eaten warm (particularly with chips/wedges but that may just be me) and salad or have it for a picnic/packed lunch.

There is no getting away from the fact that quiche takes a bit of time to make from scratch.  You can, of course use shop bought shortcrust pastry rather than making your own, but if you have time, I urge having a go at the recipe here which is made in the food processor.  I confess I always make a double batch of pastry and when I’ve turned out the cooled first quiche after baking I line the tin again with pastry, clingfilm it and freeze it so that next time I want to make a quiche I just fill the frozen shell and bake without thawing the pastry first.  The method of popping a baking sheet into the oven to heat and popping the quiche tin onto that means crisp pastry every time without blind baking.   So much less faff!

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

For the cheese pastry

  • 175g self raising flour
  • 75g butter
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 small egg

For the filling

  • 3 leeks, trimmed and sliced into discs approx 1cm thick
  • 20g butter and 1tbsp olive oil for frying leeks
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for roasting squash
  • 400g can of chickpeas
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme or half tsp dried

For the sauce

  • 40g butter
  • 425ml whole milk (or milk and cream)
  • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • 25g plain flour
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • a little freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Method

  1. To make pastry put flour, butter, cheese and mustard powder into food processor and blitz until in crumbs
  2. Add egg and blitz again until mix just comes together – add a little milk or flour if mix is too dry or wet. Do not add any water as this will increase the chances of pastry shrinking when baking
  3. Turn out pastry, form it into a disc with your hands and cover in clingfilm. Allow to rest in fridge for at least 30 mins
  4. Turn oven to 175c
  5. Put cubes of butternut squash tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper on roasting tray and cook for 20-30 mins till soft but holding their shape
  6. In a frying pan over a medium heat melt oil and butter and sauté leeks until soft for approx 10 mins.  Stir through thyme leaves and allow to cool
  7. Grease a 25cm loose bottomed metal quiche tin and line with pastry.  Prick pastry all over with fork to stop it rising
  8. Fill with layer of leeks and then put in roasted squash and fill gaps with the chickpeas
  9. Put a large baking sheet in oven to heat as this will ensure the pastry base is crisp (no “soggy bottoms” as Mary Berry would say)!
  10. To make the sauce put butter, milk and flour in a saucepan and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg
  11. Heat, whisking all the time, until sauce thickens.  Reduce temperature and carry on stirring for a further 3 mins to cook out the flour
  12. Remoce from heat and add 75g of the cheese and stir through till melted
  13. Quickly whisk in the beaten egg not allowing it to scramble
  14. Pour sauce over the quiche pushing it right to the edges.  Sprinkle over remaining 25g of cheese.
  15. Put quiche tin directly on hot baking sheet in oven and bake for 25-30 mins until set and tinged with brown
  16. Pop out quiche leaving the base of tin in place, and allow it to cool on rack

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3 Comments

  1. Hi Rosie!! This is absolutely mouth watering– I don’t know about quiche getting a bad rep. I’ve always loved it. And we have 3 big butternut squash sitting on the kitchen counter from Mr. Wick’s garden next door (he’s the best neighbor!) You’re right that it’s a little bit of work– but so hot and savory from the oven!! Hope you are doing well settling in after the holidays. I have the flu here so have been lazing on the couch for a few days trying to get well. Do you have any big plans for the year ahead?? What are you looking forward to? hugs from here!

    • Lickthespoon says:

      Oh no I feel so sorry for you having the flu. It’s really horrid and if you have the type I had seems to take ages to go. I do hope you get through it soon. Mr Wick does sound like a great neighbour to have. Obv a great gardener. Mind you I bet he is glad to have you guys next door as well. I bet lots of little treats from your kitchen go his way!
      I love the sound of your Spanish festival btw and the story of Seville oranges was really atmospheric. As well as normal Seville marmalade I’ve also made blood orange and vanilla. Ive not opened a jar yet but it tasted nice on the setting saucer though it’s not very red! Lots of hugs and get better soon xxx ps meatless Monday is very big here

      • Hi Rosie– now I’m intrigued! I’m wondering about your marmalade– is it posted on your blog?? I’ll have to go look for it! And yep, feeling improve– had to be well for Girls’ Day Out with my Mom & Sis today– always fun! thanks for asking! hugs!

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