My love for pastry can be tracked all the way back to my Uni days (that sure seems really long ago now…. almost 6 years!). I love all kinds: sweet/savoury tarts, pies, curry puffs, croissants. And it didn’t take me long to start making my own tarts and pies. But back in the days, I used to buy a lot of shortcrust pastry or puff pastry from supermarkets (Pampas brand, anyone?). It’s easy to bake a whole tray of ‘fun-sized’ pastries for parties and pot-luck dinners. Who would have thought and few years down the track I would ditch the store-bought ones for homemade version? I think I still owe it to Nutriplus Baking Competition for taking me out of my comfort zone.
I make quiches at least 2-3 times a month, to the point that I will no longer need to refer to any recipes for perfect portions of pastry vs filling. And of course, the most popular quiche would be the bacon and mushroom version. I’ve made them for all my Plateculture guests (with the exception of the recent Chinese dinner where I made lemon tarts instead — still tarts!), and they are always gone pretty quickly. The beauty about mini quiches is that you get more balance filling: pastry ratio and not to mention they look prettier too. With healthy dose of bacon, even real men would eat these (except for Frank la he’s almost vegetarian anyway).
Generally, if I have guests over for weekend brunch, I would make the crust the night before and line the cases, with ample time for the dough to chill/freeze and lock in all that goodness. That way, the tart shells will never shrink (even store-bought version would shrink if you don’t treat them this way). For mini quiches this size I use my cupcake pans (which explains the slightly irregular edges), time to invest in pretty mini tart pans I guess.
Bacon and Mushroom Mini Quiches (makes exactly 6 cupcake sized quiches)
120g All Purpose Flour
50g Almond meal
75g Kerrygold Irish Butter (the only brand I use, ever), cut into cubes
Pinch of salt (less if the butter is already salted)
40g Cheddar Cheese (Parmesan works too but you might need a bit more water)
2-3 tablespoons Ice Water
2 strips of Bacon, finely chopped (you can of course use more but you’d have to reduce the salt level in your egg mixture)
100g Button Mushrooms, finely chopped
Quarter Onion, finely chopped
Splash of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 Cup of Cheese (I used a mixture of Parmesan and Cheddar)
To make the pastry, place both flour, almond meal in a large bowl, rub the butter cubes into the flour and stirring in the cheese with sufficient cold water to mix to a firm dough. Flatten to disc, wrapped in cling film and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.
Divide the pastry dough into 6 equal pieces and press the pastry into the cupcake pans and gently push up the edge. Trim the edge and prick the base all over with a fork. Leave them in the freezer until you are ready to use. Preheat the oven to 180C.
To make the filling, saute onion until translucent, then add bacon and mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Set aside. Mix 2 eggs with cream, milk, salt and pepper.
Prebake the tart cases for 10 minutes with baking weight (beans, rice, even coins can work), remove and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 150°C. Distribute the bacon/mushrooms/onion mixture evenly then add 3 tablespoons each of the egg mixture (until almost full), topped with pinch of cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Not too difficult right? These mini quiches are great for any occasion: brunch, afternoon tea, dinner, finger food at parties. Make your own soon! You can always substitute with other ingredients. Spinach works really well, bits of chorizo sausages would be fabulous too. Impress your guests soon.