As I’ve said before, I have a special relationship with autumn. And winter in Scandinavia can be quite spectacular when the snow arrives and it feels like you’re in a wonderland. But the weeks in between, when the brightness of autumn has faded, and it’s still not cold enough for snow, carry with them a pervading and damp cold that reaches the bones and leaves you longing for a bit of color and warmth. The sky during these days is often an eerie white, which brings about a sort of timeless quietude. Yes, I’m looking forward to the bitter cold of winter here in Sweden, because it brings with it an often clear sky, snow-laden trees, and Christmas lights brightening the city. In the meantime, I’ll add some color to my day and some warmth to my belly with this Golden Beet Potato Quiche.
2 golden beets (300g/10.5oz), roasted, cooled, and thinly sliced
3 small potatoes (175g/6.2oz), thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
200g feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1.75dl (3/4 cup) whole milk
1.75dl (3/4 cup) crème fraîche
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
200g (1 1/2 cups) white flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
100g (7 tablespoons) cold butter
Approximately 4 tablespoons ice-cold water
Roast beets ahead of time. Wash, wrap in foil, and bake at 205C/400F for 1-1.5 hours, depending on size, until tender when squeezed. Let cool.
For crust, combine flour and salt, and cut butter into small pieces and pinch into the flour with your fingertips until small crumbs form. You don’t want any pieces bigger than a pea. Add one tablespoon of water at a time, gently combining with your hands, until the dough is moist enough to stick together. Work the dough as little as possible. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a circle big enough to fit your quiche pan. Gently fit dough into pan, being careful not the stretch it, and press into the sides. Cut around edge to remove excess dough, and prick the bottom several times with a fork.
Tip: Use the dough scraps for quick and easy tarts: press scraps into mini tart pan, and fill each with a teaspoon of jam. Chill until you’re ready to bake them, then bake at 205C/400F for 20 minutes.
For filling, thinly slice the beets, potatoes, and shallots. Fry and crumble your bacon, and crumble or cube the feta.
Whisk the eggs, then add milk, crème fraîche, and salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth.
Alternate beet and potato slices in a spiral until the bottom of the crust is covered. Sprinkle over shallots, then bacon, then feta. Slowly and evenly pour the egg mixture over everything. Finally, sprinkle anise seeds evenly over the top.
Bake at 180C/350F for 45-55 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling is firm and beginning to brown.