This recipe is based on one which appeared in Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Ruby bakes…’ column in the Guardian Cook Supplement (5 April 2014). Serves 4-6:
- 1 deep savoury short crust flan case (I made mine in a tin with a 20cm diameter base, with the sides sloping outwards from the base, using pastry made with 150g of plain flour and 75g of butter)
- 15g butter
- 250g fresh spinach (washed and drained (using a salad spinner is a good idea))
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium potatoes (mine amounted to about 330g)
- A pinch of nutmeg
- 250ml milk
- 3 large eggs (beaten)
- 250g quark
- Black pepper (to taste)
- 40g each of parmesan and mature cheddar, finely grated
Heat the butter in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the spinach (keeping the heat high) and stir until just wilted. Leave to cool.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onion over a gentle heat for 5 minutes. Cover the pan and cook for a further 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender.
Meanwhile, peel, and slice the potatoes (to about the thickness of a 10p coin).
Add the potato and nutmeg to the pan with the onion, pour in 150ml of the milk and cook over a gentle heat with the lid on for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The potato should absorb most of the milk by the time you finish this phase of the cooking process.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining milk, eggs, quark and grated cheese, and mix thoroughly. Squeeze any excess water from the spinach, and then stir it into the mixture. Season to taste, and pour into the flan case.
Bake the flan in the oven 160C (Gas Mark 3) for approximately 40 minutes, or until browned on top and filling firm.