South Africa on a plate – Biltong and Butternut Quiche

This Biltong and Butternut Quiche reminded me once again how incredibly rich our South African  food culture  is, but it is a heritage that is made up of recipes borrowed from all over the world. A good example is the
history of the Cape Malay cuisine in South Africa. It began with the involuntary migration of Africans, Asians and Indonesians around the world, and with it their diverse origins and culinary techniques.The age old tradition of drying and curing meat again is something we have inherited from the Dutch Settlers. The mealie meal I have used in the crust of this quiche is a staple in South Africa and for many people mealie meal or maize is the only food available. So this quiche is a culmination of all the South Africa flavors I had in my house and when I made it, I felt proud to be part of this food culture that is so unique and colorful. Maybe, just maybe, in years to come, my Biltong and Butternut Quiche will be recorded in a book to illustrate the diversity of our South African food culture.

Just bear in mind before you start making this quiche, you have to roast the butternut first. Maybe you can plan it ahead and make roasted Butternut the previous night for supper and just keep some butternut  for your quiche.

Biltong and Butternut Quiche


For the crust
250ml( 1 cup) cake flour
125ml(1/2 cup) mealie meal ( or dry polenta)
200gr butter – cold and cut in cubes
1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese

Place all the ingredients except the butter in a food processor and while the machine is running, add the butter, a little cube at a time, until all the butter is worked into the flour and the pastry starts to clump together. Stop pulsing and  throw the pastry out on a floured surface and press together with your hands and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to the size of your quiche pan, mine is about 29cm(11-12 inches). Alternatively use your fingers and press the pastry down to fill the quiche tin. Refrigerate while you make the filling. Yes, you read correctly…no pre-baking!

For the filling

1 small butternut
2 leeks – washed and chopped
a little butter
200gr sliced biltong – I used beef
250gr cream cheese
125ml grated cheddar
4 eggs
fresh thyme

In a pan, shallow fry your leeks in a little butter until they are soft. Place pieces of the butternut, biltong and the leeks  in your pastry case.Keep a few pieces of butternut and biltong  one side.  Beat together the eggs and cream cheese. Lastly add the grated cheese to the egg mixture, stir and pour into the pastry case. Now place the remaining biltong and butternut in the egg mixture so that some of it sticks our, it is just for a more colorful presentation. Bake for about 45 minutes. the middle of the tart must still have a slight wobble when you take it out the oven. Leave to cool a little and serve with a crisp green salad and some potato wedges on the side.

More of our South African Heritage recipes