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This is an old family favourite and has evolved over the years from being rather healthy and low-fat to becoming richer and richer. And of course, more delicious and more decadent!

Nevertheless, it's a perfect meatless meal if you don't add the bacon topping and is best served as a main course with a simple, oil-free tomato and onion salad.

Rich Spinach Cheesecake
Decadent!

Ingredients


  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g cake flour
  • 125 g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 10 ml dried dill tops
  • 230 g low-fat cream cheese, mustard or ham flavour
  • 250 ml cream or milk or half-and-half
  • 30 ml extra cake flour
  • 30 ml corn flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 3 ml ground nutmeg
  • 4 jumbo eggs, beaten
  • 500 g frozen spinach, cooked and drained
  • salt and freshly-milled black pepper
  • Optional topping
  • 250 g streaky bacon, diced and crisply fried
  • 250 ml grated Parmesan cheese



Hint: We use frozen spinach as we cannot stand the work involving a mountain of fresh spinach that disappears into a large pot only to reveal itself as a tiny hillock of green at the bottom of the same pot.

We know for a fact that McCain Frozen Foods (they are not paying us to say this) plants a special non-bitter spinach on their own farms, hence the excellent taste of their frozen spinach. It costs more than fresh, but then you have very little to do while saving yourself the shock of the disappearing green mountain ...

Method


Rub the butter into the 150 g cake flour until it resembles coarse fresh breadcrumbs. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese and dill tops. Push the mixture into a greased 30-cm loose-bottomed fluted tart pan. Set aside.

Place the cream cheese, cream or milk, extra cake flour, corn flour, garlic and nutmeg into a large bowl. First mash the cream cheese into the mixture with a fork then whisk the mixture well. Now add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can from the spinach and add to the egg mixture. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and mix well so that the spinach is evenly distributed.

Place the tart pan onto a large baking sheet and pour the spinach mixture into the crust.

If you are doing the optional topping, chop the bacon even more finely and mix with the grated Parmesan. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top.

Bake in the oven, preheated to 190C, for 30 35 minutes, or until the filling is firm, but still a little wobbly in the centre.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes, remove the pan's ring and loose bottom and serve with a simple tomato and onion salad.

Yields 8 or more portions.