Monday, 16 January 2023

Leek and Stilton Quiche

Leek and Stilton Quiche is typically a British style quiche, mainly because of it's signature ingredients, Leeks and Stilton cheese, and will be a memorable dish for a special occasion. It is quite rich, but oh so delicious. Stilton is the creamiest and tastiest of all blue cheese varieties, with the most amount of fat, but doesn't contain any gluten. To be honest, I've never eaten much Stilton before, even when we lived in England for 12 months, but now it is readily available in Australian supermarkets, at a very reasonable price. To be authentically Stilton, it must only be made in the English counties of Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire. It's been that way since 1996, as Stilton is a protected Destination of Origin cheese.

The Thomas Dux Stilton Cheese I used in this recipe was made in the village of Long Clawson in Leicestershire, using local cow's milk, so I'm relieved to be able to say it's authentic. If you can't find any Stilton near you, or you would rather replace it with another cheese variety, Italian Gorgonzola or Roquefort, a French blue cheese made from sheep's milk, would be good substitutes. Or even a very tasty mature hard cheese would work well. Stilton is rich and strong in flavour, however the taste is less salty than Roquefort. I also found this pastry that I made to be perfect, crisp and delicious. It was so much fun to make.

Quiche is still a very popular luncheon dish in Australia and I love to make a healthy vegetable quiche, often the quick and easy type without pastry for an easy lunch. The popularity of quiche has been around since the 1970's, and with vegetables, a mature cheddar cheese, and eggs amongst the list of ingredients, I think it is a healthy and enjoyable weekend dish for families. However, if I am in the mood to do something a little more special, I will be making this Leek and Stilton quiche again, it's a keeper. And did I tell you how easy it is to make this pastry, it really is.

Mary Berry

This quiche is a Mary Berry recipe. So who is Mary Berry? She is a British cooking institution. She trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Bath School of Home Economics, and became a British food writer, chef, television presenter, and baker. During the British Swinging 60's, she became the cookery editor of Housewife magazine, followed by Ideal Home magazine, so she's been around for a while, a lot longer than I have. She is now Dame Mary Rosa Alleyne Hunnings DBE (nee Berry), professionally known as Mary Berry.

From 2010 to 2016 she was a judge on the Great British bakeoff, which kept her in the public eye. She has published over 80 cookery books, and surprisingly I don't have any of them on my bookshelf. If I was British, I'm sure I would have. I think you could say she is the British equivalent of Aussie cooking icons, Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. 

This recipe, including the pastry turned out perfectly, top marks Mary Berry. I saw her make this on one of her cooking programs on TV fairly recently, and I have wanted to make it ever since. 

Finely chopped young leeks and celery from our garden and Thomas Dux Blue Stilton. I bought this Stilton from Woolworths supermarket.


Shortcrust Pastry

225 g (8 oz) plain flour, some extra for dusting

125 g (4 1/2 oz) cold butter, straight out of the frig, cubed, plus extra for greasing

1 cold egg, beaten with 1 tbsp cold water

For the Stilton filling:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 leeks, thinly sliced

2 celery sticks, thinly sliced

4 eggs

450 ml (15 fl oz) thickened cream

150 g (5 oz) Stilton cheese, coarsely grated

2 tbsp chopped parsley

salt and freshly ground black pepper


You will need a 28 cm (11 inch) round, loose-bottomed deep tart tin, preferably fluted


Chilling time: 15 minutes, Total Cooking time 1 1/2 hours, plus resting

Preheat your oven to 200 C/180 C fan/Gas 6 and grease the tin, fluted sides as well, with butter

Let's make the Pastry:

Add the measured flour and butter into a food processor and give it a good whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the beaten egg and water, and whizz until it forms into a ball of dough. This happens quickly.

Or, you can rub the flour and butter together using your fingers, in a mixing bowl to resemble fine breadcrumbs, before adding the egg and water.

Grab your large rolling pin, dust it well with flour, dust your kitchen workbench very well with flour with a circumference similar to the size of your tart tin.

Roll the pastry out on the floured work surface to a disc a little bit larger than your tin and about the thickness of a $1 or 1pound coin. Carefully transfer the pastry to your well greased tin and press it into the base and sides. I like to roll the pastry over my rolling pin, by starting at the edge of the pastry with the rolling pin, and carefully rolling the rolling pin, covering it with the pastry as you go. The pastry will be wrapped around the rolling pin in a few layers. To unroll the pastry start at the edge of the tin closest to you, and roll the rolling pin away from you to unroll the pastry covering the whole tin. I grew up watching my Mum doing this countless times, she made delicious tarts, sweet and savoury, and made it all look effortless. 

 Carefully press the pastry into the base and sides of the tin. Form a little lip around the edges of the tin, trim off any excess to neaten the edges.  Prick the base of the pastry with a fork.

Place the tin in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes.

Baking Blind:

Line the pastry case with a large sheet of baking paper with a little overhang, and add the baking beans, and bake blind in the oven for 15 minutes. I used brown rice, that I keep in a special bottle just for this purpose. After the rice has been used for the blind baking of pastry, it won't be reusable for normal cooking. 

Your oven should already be preheated.

Remove the beans and paper and return the pastry to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until just cooked and pale golden.

The edges of the pastry case will pull away from the side of the tin when it is cooked which makes it very easy to lift out it of the baking tin. Tips on that later.

Delicious homemade shortcrust pastry

Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160 C fan/Gas 4.

Making the Stilton Cheese and Leek Filling:

Select a wide based frying pan with a lid, add the oil.

Cook the vegetables. Add the leeks and celery and fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and gently simmer for 20-25 minutes. The vegetables should be completely tender. If there is still extra moisture in the pan, increase the heat, and fry for another minute to dry off any excess liquid. I didn't need to this time. 

Take the pan off the stove and move to a cool spot. 

Beat the eggs and cream together in a jug and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Spoon the cooked leeks and celery into the pastry case, scatter with cheese and then parsley. 

Pour over the egg and cream mixture.

Bake the quiche in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and just set on top. Mary Berry says to check the tart halfway through the cooking time and if it is browning on one side more than the other, turn it around on the oven shelf, which I did.

Leave for 5-10 minutes to rest before turning it out and it's ready to serve.

Leek and Stilton Quiche

Tip: The tart can be prepared ahead of time.

It can be made 8 hours ahead and reheated. The pastry case can be cooked up to a day ahead and stored in a covered container. 

Can it be frozen? Absolutely. I haven't actually frozen the whole tart, but Mary says both the cooked tart and the unfilled pastry freezes well, if you have room in your freezer. This would be wonderful if planning for a party. Reheat it gently in the oven to keep the pastry crisp.

Cook's tips:

  • A food processor makes light work of making pastry, but if you really like being tactile, the flour and butter can be mixed between your fingers which is what I do with my scones.
  • I've emphasized that all of the ingredients for the pastry must be cold, in my part of the world where Summers are hot, that is imperative for pastry making. However in the Northern Hemisphere Winter, not so much.
  • My fluted tart tin isn't as deep as I would like, so I'm working on that. A loose-bottomed one makes it very easy to remove the quiche from the tin.
  • To remove the tart from a loose bottomed tin easily, place the tart in it's tin on top of an upturned 1 Litre pyrex jug or equivalent. The fluted edge will drop to the bench, leaving the tart and base sitting on the jug base. Easy peasy.
  • If using a hard, mature cheese or another type of blue cheese, the fine balance of cheese to herbs could be further achieved by adding 3 mixed tablespoons of chopped parsley, thyme, tarragon and oregano. Just a suggestion.

I had a small amount of leftover pastry, so I made a small pastry shell for a mini quiche, waste not want not.

Best wishes from a very wet North Queensland. I hope your week is going well. You might have heard there are flood warnings for the Mackay region where we live. It's been raining here since Thursday. Thankfully we are high and dry here, but the CBD of Mackay and the Pioneer River are on flood alert this morning and all of the roads in and out of Mackay are cut. It will be a worrying time for a lot of people. I'll be making a few phone calls to some friends in low lying areas this morning to check that they are are ok. 



  1. I love strong blue cheese! This quiche is definitely a keeper, Pauline.

  2. I really enjoy a good quiche. Quiche is a delicious way to use what's left in your refrigerator at the end of the week too. Your quiche looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Velva-Evening With a Sandwich

    1. Thanks Velva, yes the ingredients in a quiche are really versatile aren't they?

  3. Another of your recipes I am bookmarking!

    1. Thanks Anne, this one is a keeper, and versatile as well.

  4. Stilton is very pricey here so I would have to swap out the cheese. This looks amazing, and anything Mary Berry usually works a charm :)

    1. I think the cheese could easily be swapped out. I'll be making variations on this quiche in the future Tandy. Thanks for your comment.

  5. I didn't realise you can get proper Stilton here in Aus. This sounds like a tasty quiche pauline. Not that we eat them much anymore. All the carbs and dairy are a bit of a no no for us these days - sadly! Mary Berry is a treasure!

    1. Yes Mary Berry is great, we have quiche occasionally, and just balance it out.

  6. I can see why you say this recipe is fun to make! And I bet it's just as fun to eat, too. I do enjoy a good quiche, and I haven't made one in quite some time. I'm pretty sure I've seen Stilton in our area - the blue cheese and leek combo here would be so tasty!!

    1. This combo is really tasty David, and you have all those other wonderful cheeses that you cook with. I'm sure they would work as well. Thanks for your interest.

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Jeff, we really enjoyed it, and it gave me a sense of achievement just to make it.

  8. I absolutely want a slice of this.

  9. Replies
    1. It really was delicious, thanks for your lovely comment.

  10. We always have a leek dish for Saint David's Day (March 1, Patron Saint of Wales). I will be making this for sure. I love Mary Berry (though I don't watch the Great British Bake-Off or any other cooking shows). She is elegant, kind, and an amazing chef.

    1. David I don't often watch her shows, but when I do I am really impressed. I wasn't aware of the St. David's Day tradition of eating leeks. This quiche would suit perfectly. Thanks so much for your interesting comment.


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