20 June 2007

Spinach & mustard cream quiche

{QUICHE A LA MOUTARD ET EPINARDS} The word ‘quiche‘ comes from the German word ‘Küchen’ meaning cake and started as an open pie made with bread dough and an egg, cream and bacon filling (the cheese came later!) It originated in the medieval German kingdom of Lothringen, later conquered by the French and renamed Lorraine – hence quiche Lorraine.

As fate would have it, my inspiration to adapt this traditional French / German recipe came when I was invited to lunch at Laura’s mother’s house in Surrey…. Wendy served a delicious warm tomato quiche, but what left a lasting impression was the mustard and cream layer that she added. With this tangy taste still fresh in my mouth (or shall I say mind) and spinach being one of my preferred vegetables of choice, my traditional childhood quiche was about to have a makeover!


STEP ONE : Pastry

  • 110g COLD unsalted butter
  • 200g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • approx. 15ml (1 tablespoon) cold water

Cut the cold unsalted butter into small cubes. In a mixing bow add the flour, pinch of salt and then butter. With a fork work the butter into the flour. Then use your finger tips crumble the flour and butter together (it should end up looking a little like bread crumbs!) Finally add the water, incorporating it well to make a smooth pastry. Form the pastry into a flattened ball and place in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. (HELP: if the pastry seem crumbly & won’t stick together – do not cry & swear you will never make pastry again, just add a little more water & it should work)

STEP TWO: Mustard cream layer

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I use 2 tablespoons smooth mustard  & 1 tablespoon grainy mustard)
  • 2 tablespoons thick cream

In a small dish combine the mustard and the cream and set aside.

STEP THREE: Egg & spinach filing

  • 250g fresh LARGE leaf spinach (well washed – no cheating or you will have crunchy sand in your quiche 😉
  • 7 eggs
  • 2dl (200ml) milk
  • 1.5dl (150ml) thick cream
  • 200g finely grated gruyère or comté cheese 
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste (I put little salt as the cheese is already salty & lots of mixed pepper )

Preheat the oven to 180°F (350°C). 

The spinach

  1. Wash well and remove the stalks.
  2. In a kettle boil 1L of water.
  3. In a large saucepan WILT the spinach by pour the boiling water over it until submerged and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the spinach in a caulender removing as much water as possible. To further dry the spinach, drape each individual spinach leaf over the side of the caulender (you can layer the leaves), set in the sink while you prepare the pastry crust – this may sound crazy but it works very well and avoids a soggy quiche!

The pastry crust  

  1. IMPORTANT you will need a 25cm bottom pie dish
  2. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge 5-10 mintues before using.
  3. Roll out the dough on a large piece of cooking paper until approximately 4-5mm thick then place pastry with paper into the pie dish. Press in the pastry, make sure the edges are neat all around. Trim the cooking paper. Prick the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork.
  4. To pre-cook the pastry evenly, place another large sheet of cooking paper over the pastry and pour on either several cups of uncooked rice or dried apricot pits (see NOTES below) to weight the paper down. Then place in the oven to cook for 10 minutes.
  5. REMOVE pastry crust from the oven!!! Now add the mustard cream mixture to create a thin, even layer on the bottom of the crust.
  6. Place in oven again and cook for 3 minutes (this is necessary to slightly solidify the cream)

The egg filling

  1. Combine the eggs, milk, 1.5dl thick cream, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Beat well until light and frothy.
  2. REMOVE the pastry crust with mustard cream from the oven. Starting with the spinach, place alternating layers of flattened spinach leaves, egg filling and then grated cheese into the pastry crust.
  3. Finish by topping the quiche with the left over grated cheese. COOK FOR 30 MINUTES.

NOTES : APRICOT PITS : a trick that Olivier’s mom taught us was to wash and dry the apricot pits we had in the summer. Once they are fully dry store them in a metal box and use as weights to pre-cook pastry. An inexpensive and effective method.


  1. Marjorie Says:

    I am pleased to see Erika’s Quiche au Epinards listed on the blog as she cooked it while visiting us recently in France. This dish is beyond delicious! We all loved it, especially with the mustard/cream addition at the base of the pie shell – a nice twist! It will be number one on my list to make again and again.
    The color combination with the layers of egg mixture, cheese and spinach are quite inviting and make the Quiche very presentable on the plate. I like the simplicity of the photograph which makes you appreciate the pie itself without being overpowered by anything else. Well done!

  2. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    My resident photographer is also pleased with the photo, he says he is just getting warmed up 😉 Elise wrote to me and left this message “We have some friends coming over for lunch and they are veggies and this will be a super dish to serve so thanks for that”

  3. Wendy Says:

    This looks and sounds wonderful. Will most definitely try this out. Thanks

  4. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

    Thanks for your sweet note! It was your quiche that inspired me, and if you have any other recipes to pass along I would love to try them 🙂

  5. Marjorie Says:

    Yesterday we had company (a dear friend) and we made the Quiche Aux Epinards. This was the fourth time we made it and of course it was a complete success as it is such a great recipe. The best part of the lunch was our friend saying “just a minute, I cannot speak, I am savouring every mouthfull! She was most impressed and is anxious to try the recipe herself.

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