Saturday was International Women’s Day and my friend Sara asked if my daughter and I would like to go with her and her daughter to watch a netball match at the Olympic Park in London. One of the focusses of the match was to promote women’s sport and play a domestic netball match in front of the largest-ever crowd. Over three thousand people watched Surrey Storm beat the Hertfordshire Mavericks in a tense fourth quarter. If you are a sports fan, particularly an American one, that might sound like a tiny number but it was record-breaking. I hadn’t really realised that netball was a sport women played, watched and supported until my daughter started playing it at school! There is a mums’ netball club at school that Sara belongs to that trains on a weekday night and often plays local teams on the weekends. And if you’re wondering, I’m not considering joining: the only thing worse than being generally rubbish at all sports is looking vaguely athletic and being generally rubbish at all sports! There are expectations that I can’t possibly hope to meet…
My daughter has given up sweet things for Lent so instead of the normal cakes I wanted to take a snack that she could eat as well. It needed to be something easily transportable and eatable. Mini quiche seemed like a good idea.
I used some spelt pastry that I had in the freezer and filled the mini quiche cases with onion, butternut squash, kale and puy lentils and used fresh thyme as the main seasoning. I poured eggs and crème fraîche over the filling and topped it off with creamy goat’s cheese. I didn’t bake my cases blind and the pastry was well cooked and crisp. I’m not sure if that was because spelt flour makes a crisper pastry or if they just cook for long enough to make sure the pastry is properly done. Either way, if baking blind is not an absolute necessity, I avoid it! I had enough pastry for 5 mini quiches, which was about half a recipe quantity of my spelt pastry. I had some filling left over and I think it will make a good soup if I don’t manage to make some more pastry. This can also be made as a large quiche but will take longer to cook.
Onion, finely chopped
Butternut squash, diced
Kale, roughly chopped
Eggs: about one per two mini quiches
Crème fraîche: about a dessertspoonful per mini quiche
Fresh thyme, salt and pepper
Roll out your pastry and use it to line your mini quiche tins (or one large tin).
Set the oven to 180°C.
Fry the onion for a few minutes and then add the butternut squash and seasonings. Continue to cook until they start to soften.
Turn off the heat, add the kale and mix in so that it begins to wilt from the residual heat.
Add a few large tablespoonfuls of puy lentils and mix in.
If you are cooking the quiches immediately you can fill them and bake them straight away. Alternatively allow the filling to cool.
Spoon the filling into the quiche cases:
Whisk the eggs and crème fraîche together.
Pour carefully onto the filling, making sure not to overfill. Top with crumbled goat’s cheese.
Bake for around 20-25 minutes or until well browned and the filling seems set. They will puff up while in the oven but will settle down once they cool.
They are great warm (I had to check) and would be good with salad, but also work well cold as a snack or a picnic item. My daughter had nearly finished hers before she announced it wasn’t very nice and didn’t want any more (she’s 12). Sara, on the other hand, was very polite and said it was delicious. As were the beetroot brownies she had brought! And, being the incredibly thoughtful friend she is, she even gave me the beautiful daffodils in the top photo in honour of International Women’s Day. Thank you Sara!