I have made this quiche several times in recent weeks, but for the wrong reasons! I just did not seem to get the right camera shots. The pastry shell did not turn out the way I expected. Since the first time I tasted this quiche, I cannot forget how delicious it was. So it would be ashamed not to share it here. Reluctantly, I soldiered on. Version 2.0, 3.0… In retrospect, multiple redo was only a small price to pay. Everyone who had eaten this quiche enjoyed the fantastic and unusual balance of flavor among the butternut squash, Stilton cheese and quince. There was the indescribable drama unfolding in the mouth –– with the sweet nuttiness of squash, the inescapable fermented sting of Stilton, the tanginess of quince and the smooth creaminess of the custard -– all dancing to the tune of perfect harmony. I did not expect a quiche dish could be as exciting as this one. The squash, quince and Stilton quiche, evidently, is not just another quiche dish.
This dish can be as easy as pie if you don’t insist on making your own short-crust pastry. In my noisy head, there was that uncompromising voice of resistance every time I tried to pick up a piecrust at the store. To make the long story short, I ended up making the pie dough. I have to admit: that was not my idea of fun, to put it mildly. It was terrifying to see the dough shrinking away from the edge of the pan and cracks bursting up on the base as it emerged from the oven, after hours of laboring, between rounds of chilling and thawing. Since there are so many good-quality ready-made piecrusts out there, why struggle? I don’t see a problem buying store-bought pie shells. Dear readers please don’t let the piecrust shell deter you from making this quiche. This quiche is worthy of giving in to all the objections you might have, real or self-imposed.
In Plenty More, the recipe title reads “membrillo and stilton quiche.” Membrillo casero, as I’ve found out, is quince paste which you can get at the cheese department in your local market or wine store. I found it in Trader Joe’s. You guess it, with all the cheeses. From my experience, the quince paste (from Trader Joe’s) melts quickly. I resolved that by saving a few pieces to be dotted on the quiche close to the end of baking. This way, the quince in its solid form stayed intact before completely dissolved in the oven heat. The quiche looks vibrant and colorful with the purple red of the quince calling for attention. Better yet, a very satisfying eat.
Note: I’m bringing this quiche and a cauliflower salad dish, both from Plenty More by Ottolenghi, for the March potluck at IHCC. Please check what other amazing dishes are on the offer by visiting the site.