Rounding out Pi Day with mini quiches


  • Saturday, 14 Mar 2020

Mini quiches are perfect as a quick lunch or snack. — Photos: SAMUEL ONG/The Star

To many cooks, a quiche is a quiche Lorraine, a French tart comprising flaky crust filled with savoury custard and pieces of bacon, seafood or vegetables. But quiche is just a generic term for non-sweet pies filled with eggs, cream and cheese.

This is a recipe for a basic quiche which can be filled with any type of meat or vegetables. It is suitable for vegetarians although strictly speaking, quiche Lorraine should contain bacon or lardon. There are also quiches with onions, mushrooms, smoked salmon and other fillings.

The video that accompanies this recipe features six mini quiches where two of each are filled with spinach, mushrooms and eggplant. If you use a 12-well muffin tin, you will need to double the amount of shortcrust pastry dough to account for more side crusts.

I ended up with excess of filling and custard, so I made an additional batch of shortcrust pastry dough to bake a 25cm quiche with a mixture of all three fillings.

I did not blind-bake the crust before filling, so I kept the filled pies chilled in the refrigerator before popping them into a preheated oven. The sudden blast of high temperature causes the water in the dough to expand quickly, resulting in a crispy and flaky crust with no soggy bottom.

Whether you make mini quiches or a full quiche pie, it is a complete meal in itself with the balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. Ideal for picnic or as a snack for Pi Day today.

Vegetarian quiche

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry: 200g all-purpose flour

100g cold unsalted butter

50ml cold water

¼ tsp salt to taste

Fillings:200g spinach, chopped

300g button mushrooms, sliced

200g eggplant, sliced

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

½ cup cooking oil

Salt to taste

Savoury custard:6 large eggs

250ml heavy cream

250ml whole milk

250g shredded Cheddar cheese

¼ tsp salt to taste

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Method

1. Sift flour with salt. Cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter or dinner knife until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Gather the dough into a small ball, drizzling with water a little at a time, taking care not to overwork the dough. Rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic until fragrant. Add chopped spinach and sauté. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside to cool completely.

3. Heat cooking oil in a clean frying pan. Fry sliced eggplant in batches until crispy and lightly brown. Drain excess oil on paper towels and let cool completely.

4. In the remaining oil in the frying pan, add mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned. It will expel water and start simmering in its own juices. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté until almost completely dry. Set aside to cool completely.

5. Roll out shortcrust pastry to about 5cm thick. Press dough into a 25cm pie tin and flute the edges around the rim. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

6. Fill bottom of pie dough with a layer of mushrooms, followed by spinach and finally eggplant.

7. Whisk eggs, cream and milk seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Strain through wire sieve and add cheese. Pour custard into pie dough to cover all the fillings,

making sure the custard fills up all the spaces between the layers of vegetables. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking. 8. Bake in preheated oven at 250°C for 30 minutes until custard sets and cheese starts to brown. Turn off oven and allow quiche to cool down gradually without opening the door, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices only when custard has completely set. It may be served warm or cold.

9. If making mini quiches, double the amount of shortcrust pastry dough. Roll out shortcrust pastry to about 5cm thick and cut out 12 discs with a rice bowl. Press into a 12-well muffin tin and flute the edges. Fill each well with a different vegetable filling and top with custard. Chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.

10. Bake in preheated oven at 250°C for 20 minutes until custard sets and cheese starts to brown. Turn off oven and allow quiche to cool down gradually without opening the door, about 10 minutes. It may be served warm or cold.

View this recipe "Vegetarian quiche" on kuali.com.

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