Recipe: Summertime Spinach, Bacon & Quark Quiche
After trying out The Lake District Dairy Co.’s Quark by making their recipes for Strawberry Mousse Cake and some delicious Oat, Apricot & Quark Breakfast Muffins, the team got back in touch with me to see if I wanted to take up the challenge of putting together my own healthy Summer recipe using The Lake District Dairy Co.’s Quark. After making two sweet recipes with the tart dairy product I instantly knew I wanted to make something savoury and came up with this Summertime quiche. Using the Quark itself in the quiche instead of whole milk and cream makes it a much healthier option initially, but there are a few more things you can do to make it even healthier for you; the version with the ingredients given here is just because of what I already had in the house; after they sent me some Quark, I did not fancy a trip to Tescos!
We grow our own spinach so I automatically thought of it for a quiche filling, but when it is out of season I am always buying big bags of it as a healthy vegetable option both cooked and for salads. We always have bacon in the house so I wanted that for flavour, but while you think with the ribbons of fat it would be worse for you, you can make your quiche healthier by switching out the bacon for prosciutto. Finally, if you are making your own shortcrust pastry (while I can make my own and I did here, my hands are usually a bit too warm for pastry so I tend to buy it in a block) that is fine, but if you are going for a shop bought version you need to roll out, you can always switch it out for layers of filo pastry to cut down on the butter and carbs. While we had it warm with a salad for Supper, I found the next day it is even better served cold.
Speaking of trips to Tescos, a few days later while I was helping my Mother with her weekly shop I got very excited when I finally found The Lake District Dairy Co.’s Quark in both the Original, Vanilla and Lemon versions on the shelf. I’d looked for it in Sainsbury’s, Tescos and Waitrose before but with not much luck; we don’t seem to ever have much choice where we are out in the countryside, but as this iPhone snap shows, it should be easy to find even if you live in the middle of nowhere or only near small stores. However, as with my last two Quark recipes as it is pretty impossible to get hold of in the USA,
- 1 Block Shortcrust Pasty (or you can make your own)
- 500g (2 tubs) The Lake District Co. Dairy Quark
- 4 Large Eggs
- Large Handful of The Lake District Cheese Co. Grated Cheese
- 1/2 Bag Spinach Leaves
- 4 Rashers Unsmoked Streaky Bacon
- Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper
- Large Pinch Ground Nutmeg (Optional)
Roll out the pastry into a round big enough to line a 20cm pie dish. Grease the dish with butter and lay the pastry circle over your dish, gently pressing it into the corners and cutting the excess off around the edge with a very sharp knife. Chill in the fridge. With the leftover scraps of pastry you can make one or two jam tarts to be baked in the oven at the same time as your quiche. Look out for an upcoming post, where I am going to be making some jam tarts to profile some absolutely delicious and totally unique tropical jams I’m having shipped to me from Bali.
Lightly beat the eggs and beat in the Quark until the whole mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper, and the nutmeg if you are using it, and set aside. Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees, and put a metal baking tray in to heat up with the oven. Add a splash of water to the bottom of a large saucepan and add the spinach. Stir over a medium heat until all the spinach has wilted. Set aside to cool. Using a pair of scissors cut the bacon into small pieces and fry quickly over a high heat until golden and crispy. Remove from the pan onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess fat. Squeeze the spinach out over the sink to remove any excess water and dry with kitchen paper. Evenly spread the bacon and the spinach over the bottom of the pastry case and pour the egg and Quark mixture over the top. Sprinkle the top with cheese and season again with salt and pepper. Take the baking tray out the oven (careful, it is hot) and put the quiche on it. This heat at the bottom will help prevent a soggy bottom (I’m writing this on Tuesday lunch time, so please say that soggy bottoms had already become a theme this season in last nights The Great British Bake Off!) Bake the quiche on the tray for 25 – 30 minutes, until the pastry and the cheese are golden, and the filling has set. It should be a little puffy, it will settle down as it cools to either a warm but still cuttable temperature room temperature or fridge cold, depending on how you wish to serve it!
What are your favourite simple Summer suppers to feed either your family or a crowd? Also, have any of you tried to cook with The Lake District Dairy Co. Quark yet, or tried either the Strawberry Mousse Cake or the muffins I posed yet?