Stilton & Walnut Quiche

Don’t be shy with the Stilton in this Stilton & Walnut Quiche recipe – you need a decent hit of strong cheese for it to make sense. Cooking times will vary from oven to oven so only take my timings as a guide and just keep an eye on things.
For  the pastry

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g cubed butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt
  • Approx 1 tablespoon of cold water

For the filling

  • 120g Stilton
  • 100g walnuts – broken into small pieces
  • 160g cream cheese
  • 3 good quality eggs
  • 150ml single cream
  • 5 or 6 thyme sprigs – picked
  • Salt & Black Pepper – a good twist of both.

Preheat your oven to 180c. In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and the butter. I use a knife to mix in the butter – this helps keep everything cool and stops the mixture becoming oily. When you’ve chopped the butter into the flour, begin to mix with your fingertips. Try to work quickly and keep things moving – allowing air into the mixture. You’re looking for a light breadcrumb texture. Add the egg yolk and salt and mix with a knife. Now add a dash of water – you don’t want the pastry too wet so add a little at a time. Bring the mixture together with the knife until all the flour mixture is incorporated. Remove from the bowl and give it a quick knead. Form into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in cling-film and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into a circle big enough to cover a quiche tin. Fill the tin with the pastry making sure you press into the corners and fluted edges if your tin is shaped that way. Prick the base with a fork. Place a sheet of baking paper on top and fill with baking beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the case is crisp and just starting to turn golden.
Remove the case from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 170c.
Mix all the filling ingredients together making sure the eggs are well mixed in.
Cut the overhanging edges from the case by running a sharp knife around the top of the tin. Put the tin on a large baking tray and fill the case with the filling mixture.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until just set.
Allow to cool slightly but this works well served warm. You really want to serve this with a pear-based salad or even a pear chutney.  Maybe sprinkle some fresh cut herbs (thyme, chives, golden marjoram) over the quiche to serve. If your herbs are flowering, those little flowers finish this off nicely.