I’ve had an abundance of problems with gluten-free pie crust.
My first fell apart in delicate crumbles after baking. I slid the tin rim away from the metallic bottom and and shower of crumbs rained down.
My second resembled a folded and moulded cardboard sheet more than flakey, buttery quiche. I blame the teff.
My third was gummy and generally unpleasant – a result of refrigerated and re-heated cornstarch.
Sadly, despite my hash browns and fried eggs in the past, the thought to combine the two in quiche form never crossed my mind. That is, until I came across a post by Sassy Radish, who drew her inspiration from the wonderful Martha.
Martha, who can rarely go wrong, was oh-so-right. It’s the perfect combination. Crispy hash brown mingling with creamy, cheesy egg – salty from the cheese and rich with spinach.
And while this won’t solve my sweet pie crust dilemma, I’m encouraged to keep experimenting, to keep testing and trying.
I have high hopes – and a mind full of delicious pie ideas just waiting to spring out.
Three Cheese and Spinach Quiche with Hash Brown Crust
Inspired by Sassy Radish
3 Russet potatoes
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (plus more for buttering the tin)
1 bag spinach, wilted, drained and roughly chopped
5 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground fresh pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Begin by buttering the sides and bottom of a 9-inch tart pan. I used one with a removable bottom. Cut a piece of parchment the size of the tin, place in the bottom and butter that as well.
Peels and coarsely grate the potatoes. Using several layers of cheesecloth or a clean, non-terry cloth kitchen towel, squeeze out the excess water. Add the potatoes to a medium bowl with one egg, two Tablespoons softened unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix well to combine.
Using wet fingers, evenly and firmly press the hash brown mixture into the tart pan and up the sides, ensuring no gaps or holes remain.
Bake the crust for 30 minutes, or until set and the edges are nicely browned.
Meanwhile, rinse out the bowl with water and dry it. Crack in the remaining 5 large eggs. Add the milk, ground nutmeg, and remaining salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly. Set aside.
When the crust is baked, remove it from the oven and evenly distribute the chopped spinach and cheeses to the bottom. Top with the egg mixture.
Bake at 375 for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the edges are set but the middle is still ever so slightly wiggly (don’t worry – the middle will continue to cook – and set – as it cools) and the top is lightly browned, but not burnt. If the hash brown edges begin to brown too darkly or burn, create a ring of aluminum foil to cover the edges.
Remove the quiche from the oven and let cool 15 minutes.
If the hash brown crust has stuck a little to the tin, use a table knife to loosen the edges.