Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mini-Quiches

My mom is an excellent quiche maker. She can whip them out in a moment's notice - expertly making the dough by hand (with a pastry blender I think). The pastry is always flaky and delicious, and the filling is always filled with yummy vegetables.

I decided to try my hand at quiches for my daughter's preschool class. We had snack duty all week, and the letter of the week was Q, so I thought we could give it a try. I make mini ones so the kids would find them more appetizing.

I used Martha Stewart's Cheese and Trees Mini Quiche recipe, and her Pate Brisee recipe for the dough. I won't tell you how late I stayed up making them (Lili knows - don't tell!), but they turned out pretty well. Some were prettier than others, but they all tasted good. I even got a request for the recipe from Emma's teacher!

Cheese-and-Trees Mini Quiches

Makes 12 - serves 6

Ingredients:
1 small broccoli spear (about 4 ounces)
1 package ready-made pie crust with two crusts (9-inch)
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon each; salt and freshly ground pepper


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut broccoli into very small florets, and cut stem into 1/4-inch pieces. You should have 1 cup of cut-up broccoli. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until bright green and just tender, about 1 minute. Drain broccoli in a colander, and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Set aside.
2. Unwrap pie crusts, and use a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter or a knife to cut out 12 rounds, 6 from each crust. Gently place each round in a cup of a standard muffin tin, crimping the top edges so the dough fits perfectly. Place a muffin paper on top of each dough cup so it fits down inside. Fill the muffin papers with pie weights or dried beans, and bake 10 minutes. Gently remove weights and papers from pastry shells.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper. Spoon mixture into pastry shells, filling halfway. Add a little of the broccoli to each cup; top with remaining egg mixture so each cup is full. Bake until filling is puffy and set, 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve hot, garnished with grated cheese.

Pate Brisee

Makes two 8- to 10-inch single-crust pies or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water


Directions:
1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.



*I didn't have any broccoli, so mine were just plain Cheese. And I used a cup to cut the rounds - it didn't work too well, so next time I'll try to find a round biscuit/cookie cutter somewhere.

I made 2 batches of quiches (I made the whole pate brisee recipe) - one with mini muffin tins, and one with standard muffin tins.




Here are the mini-mini-quiches. The pretty ones on the left - the messy ones on the right. But all were tasty!

3 comments:

Lili & Robin said...

I am going to make these for book club next Tuesday. Which did you like better (came out better)...the regular sized or the mini sized?

paulawy said...

Hmmm - I think the standard ones came out better, but it was probably because I didn't grease the mini muffin pan beforehand! BUT the mini ones were easier to pop into your mouth, which might be better for a party - less mess.

Lili & Robin said...

I see. thank for the info, cooking chic!

-Lili