Quick Quiche: Stilton, Pear, and Nuts
Quick Quiche Inspiration
You know how it is sometimes. You look in the fridge and see that block of Stilton cheese that looked like a good idea at the deli.
You may have no idea what to do with blue cheese, and the thought of eating it straight is quite daunting. Recipes for blue cheese do not even compute in your mind.
Then you look in the cupboard and see a couple of forlorn-looking half-empty bags of walnuts and pistachios that were left over from a previous recipe.
They want to be used up and freed from the darkness of the cupboard. Suddenly your eye catches a few pears looking a little lonely in the fruit bowl.
The stinky Stilton, poor pears and knobbly nuts all cry out to be released.
You may well have had walnuts in a salad. Or maybe in a cake or loaf. But how about a quick quiche? Among all the recipes for blue cheese, this one is a winner.
It seems like the combination from hell. Stilton, pear, walnuts and pistachios—even Google hates it. It's almost a Google-whack, it is so search-unfriendly.
You may search in vain, trying to find a recipe that includes all these leftovers, and realise that there are none.
So by complete accident we found a niche that was completely empty, and we had just the recipes for blue cheese, cooking pistachios and walnuts and pears.
Inspiration comes from many places. Inspiration for this recipe came about from some leftovers from a previous recipe for a banana and walnut loaf bread.
We made some shortcrust pastry, added a few nuts, that Stilton and some spare pears—and voilà, a beautiful quiche!
A Flash of Inspiration
The Hairy Bikers (two TV chefs on BBC) had made these little tartlets and they looked really interesting.
We thought, why not adapt that idea with different ingredients and do it on a much larger scale? So, in other words, we ended up with something totally different.
We must, however, give credit to the Hairy Bikers for setting us off thinking in this direction.
When you allow yourself to follow along these other pathways, it is surprising what you can discover. I think we may have created a brand-new dish: a quick quiche using four ingredients that rarely would be combined together in a main dish.
Stilton and pear is a common combination for dessert, but not baked with nuts and a creamy filling and served as a main meal, that's for sure.
We discovered that when the Stilton is baked, it loses its pungency and strength and becomes quite mild.
We made it, and to our complete surprise and delight, it tasted great and was gone in no time flat. Which in our world is the acid test of any recipe.
We call it 'plate time'. In other words, how long does it stay on the plate? The faster it disappears, the more successful the recipe.
Cooking Time (Includes 30 Minutes Resting the Pastry)
For the pastry:
- 300 g (10½ oz) plain flour, plus extra for rolling
- 175 g (6 oz) butter
- 1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
- Knob of butter, for frying the pears
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 medium conference pears, peeled
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 300 ml (½ pint) crème fraîche
- 100 ml (1/3 pint) single cream
- 3 sage leaves, finely shredded (optional)
- 150 g (5½ oz) Stilton, rind removed and broken into small pieces
- 40 g (1½ oz) walnuts, broken into small pieces
- 40 g (1½ oz) pistachios, broken into small pieces
Step 1: Make the Pastry
- For the pastry, blend the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg and pulse until the mixture just comes together as a dough.
- Take the dough and knead it slightly into a round ball shape, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- On a lightly floured rolling board or worktop, roll out the pastry to a large square shape and place in a greaseproof paper-lined baking tray.
- Cut around the edges to trim off the overhanging pastry.
- Using a fork, prick the pastry to allow air circulation as this will stop it from rising when cooking.
- Pour in enough baking beads to cover the whole surface of the pastry. Save any excess pastry for another smaller quiche or another recipe.
Step 2: Blind-Bake the Pastry
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6.
- Bake the pastry for 20 minutes, then remove the baking beads and greaseproof paper and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes at 170C / 325F / Gas 3 or until the pastry turns a light brown colour. Cookers vary so keep an eye on it occasionally. Fan-assisted ovens will be faster.
Step 3: Fry the Pears
- Add the butter and oil to a large non-stick frying pan.
- Fry the pear slices for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned all over.
- Place pear slices on kitchen paper towel to soak up excess juices.
Step 4: Make the Creamy Filling
- Combine the eggs, cream, and crème fraîche. Beat until smooth. Add salt ground black pepper to taste.
- Break up and crumble the Stilton into the cooked pastry-lined baking tray.
- Add in the lightly browned slices of pear and sprinkle over with the blitzed walnut and pistachio pieces. Carefully pour over the egg and cream mixture, making sure to fill in between all gaps in the quiche. Give the baking tin a little shake, to make sure the mixture fills every space between the nuts and stilton and pears.
Step 5: Bake the Quiche
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the filling is just set.
- Remove the quiche from the oven and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the baking tray and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.