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Spud Sunday: Curious Spuds

Curious Potato Quiche with Onion & Goats Cheese

This quiche is indeed, in its own way, somewhat curious, because spuds appear twice but not in any immediately identifiable form:

  • I used a potato pastry crust, which is nice for savoury uses, if a little bit hard to handle. You can substitute your own preferred pastry crust here as you like.
  • In an unusual (and admittedly experimental) step, I decided to grate and fry the potatoes before putting them into the quiche. The result was that they just kind of disappeared into the quiche and became part of the base. You can just replace with chunks of steamed or roasted potato if you prefer.

potato quiche

The crust:
  • 1 portion of potato pastry (see below) or use regular shortcrust pastry or pre-made as you prefer.
The filling:
  • 500g onion
  • 100g goats cheese
  • 250g potato
  • 8 medium eggs
  • 2-3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil and butter for frying
You’ll also need:
  • Ovenproof dish – mine was 24cm diameter and about 3cm deep – plus some dried beans to use as weights when baking the crust.
The Steps:
  • Make a batch of potato pastry (below) or regular short-crust pastry for the crust. Following Jenni’s [1] recommendation, once the pastry was made, I rolled it out between two layers of parchment paper and put the rolled-out dough in the fridge to rest while I got on with the fillings.
  • Next, caramelise the onions, which, if you want to get them really soft and sweet, could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. So…
  • Slice the onions thinly.
  • Place a pan over a medium-high heat and, when hot, add about 1 tblsp of olive oil and 1 tblsp of butter.
  • Add the onions to the pan and toss, so that they become well-coated with the cooking fat.
  • Lower the heat and allow the onions to cook, uncovered, stirring only very occasionally, until they eventually start to turn brown, as their sugars caramelise. I stirred in 1 tsp of brown sugar about 10 minutes into the process.
  • Once the onions are done, allow them to cool.
  • Meanwhile, peel and grate the potato, rinse and squeeze out any excess moisture. Heat your pan again and add about a tblsp of olive oil. When hot, add the potatoes and a pinch of salt and fry for about 10 minutes until starting to get a bit tender. Remove and cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Remove your rolled-out dough from the fridge, peel off one of the layers of parchment paper and place that side down on your ovenproof dish and let it slump into the dish. Peel off the other piece of parchment paper and ease the dough into the dish and then trim around the edges. If the dough insists on tearing (which I found the potato pastry had a tendency to do), just patch it up with the pastry trimmings.
  • With a little knife, poke little slits in the base of the pastry for steam to escape, then line with some parchment paper or an old foil butter wrapper, filled with dried beans to weight it down.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or so, until the crust starts to set and dull a bit. Remove from the oven and remove the baking beans and paper or foil.
  • Beat the eggs well and season with a little salt and black pepper and add the thyme leaves.
  • Fill the quiche with the onions, potatoes, crumbled goats cheese and pour over the beaten eggs.
  • Bake for around 30 minutes or until the eggs have set and the top is golden.
The Variations:
  • Steam the potato and cut into chunks instead of grating it raw or omit the potatoes completely and perhaps add a little more goats cheese.
The Results:
  • Quiche for 4 to 6 – more like 4 portions if you’re just having it along with a green salad for dinner and need to sample a lot of wine with it!

Quiche [2]

Potato Pastry

I have seen versions of this in various places, including Lindsay Bareham’s In Praise of the Potato. It’s recommended for use with savoury pies, like steak and kidney, so I thought I would give it a whirl with the quiche. I will say that, while it made for a nice crust, the pastry was tricky to handle and I did have to do a lot of patching.

You’ll need:
  • 175g plain flour
  • 115g cold unsalted butter
  • 175g cooled mashed potato
  • 0.25 tsp salt
The Steps:
  • Boil or steam your potatoes, allow them to cool and mash well. You can cook more than you need for this recipe because there are always plenty of other things to do with spuds.
  • Whisk the flour and salt together.
  • Cut the butter into cubes and then rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mashed potato and bring the lot together as a dough, kneading lightly.
  • Chill for at least 15 minutes before using.