Claire Ptak's Quiche
Claire Ptak. I know I’ve talked about her so much already, at least on Instagram, but I wouldn’t be able to do this list of four highly influential bakers without speaking of her. In 2015 her shop, Violet, was hiring. I was just becoming interested in baking and on a whim, I asked Claire what would qualify someone to work in a shop like hers, and what advice she would have for me. Claire was the picture of kindness and encouragement as she told me to follow my dreams. She even invited me to apply for work, but of course I was here, in Idaho, and she was there, in London.
Ever since my brief exchange with Claire I’ve had such a fondness for her and her work. I really believe in karma and her kindness to people has brought much, well deserved, success back to her. She even created Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake!
Her style is so…raw and refined at the same time. She really lets the food speak for itself. She creates items which seem basic, but with care she twists them to be amazing and uses high-quality ingredients when they’re in season, from sustainable sources. She truly inspires me above anyone else in the baking field at the moment.
For the recipe she created I chose something I never made before; a quiche. Violet sells many savory breakfast/lunch items and I wanted to pay homage to that. (Also, I like savory breakfasts more than sweet so…) This is another healthier breakfast item you can make the day before and have for a few days after. Albie gobbled it up, so rest assured that this recipe is toddler approved!
I hope you enjoy this. I cannot wait to share my Claire Ptak inspired recipe with you on Friday.
Ricotta, spinach and lemon quiche
(This recipe is exactly the same as what is written in the link. I didn’t have much to add!)
Ingredients: For the pastry 140g wholemeal wheat flour (I used regular) A pinch of salt A pinch of sugar 85g cold butter, cut into 1cm pieces 2-3 tbsp ice water 1 egg, for glazing
For the filling 3 eggs 2 tbsp plain flour 200g double cream 2 tbsp olive oil 300g spinach leaves, washed Juice and zest of 1 lemon A pinch of crushed red chilli 150g fresh ricotta cheese Salt and black pepper
1 Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastrycutter, or use a mixer. Avoid over-mixing. Leave larger chunks of butter than you would think. This will make the pastry more flaky. Drizzle in the water and bring it all together. Roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk the flour into one of the eggs to make a paste. Add the remaining eggs and whisk in the cream. Strain the mixture to remove any lumps of flour. Season with the salt and pepper. This can now sit while you pre-bake the pastry, or can be made a day ahead.
3 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. I use a deep-dish tart pan around 22cm wide, but you could use a wider one that is more shallow. Roll out the chilled pastry, then press it into your buttered tin. Put a piece of parchment inside the pastry and fill it with dried beans or ceramic weights. Blind bake the case for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and paper. Brush the pastry with a lightly beaten egg. Continue baking for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
4 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the spinach. Stir periodically until it wilts, shrinking to about half its original size, and most of the water has evaporated.
5 Add the lemon zest and juice, and a pinch of red chilli. Season with salt and black pepper. Turn the oven down to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Fill the baked pastry with the spinach and scoops of ricotta. Pour over the egg mixture. Transfer to a baking tray. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until souffléd and golden. Rest for 15 minutes before slicing into it.