Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Buiding a Nest: Mini Spinach Quiches

I had a massive internal debate for the week leading up to the baby shower I hosted for my best friend. Do I make quiche with crust or crustless... bite-sized quiches (mini-muffin sized) or mini quiches (standard muffin sized) . What would people like? What would be easier to eat? What would be easier to make? Do people even care?! I finally made an official decision the morning before the shower to make crusted bite-sized quiches... and then I ended up with a lot of extra filling so I used up the rest and made crustless ones as well! I think they're pretty cute and tasty.

Mini Spinach Quiches
crust: Martha Stewart; filling: me

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter; chilled & cut into small pieces (I used frozen butter)
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.
1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
3 eggs
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1. Beat eggs and combine with spinach, milk & nutmeg.
To assemble:
1. Spray mini-muffin pan.
2. Pinch of a piece of pate brisee (about 1/2 inch ball), press dough flat into a circle about 1 1/2 times the size of the muffin cup. Press into the cup and continue until you've filled all cups. Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Blind bake at 400 for about 10 minutes until crusts are puffy and light golden brown. I didn't fill the pastries with weights.
4. Once dough cools, spoon egg mixture into dough crusts (about 1 tablespoon for each).
5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until egg mixture puffs and is firm to the touch.
I used about half the mixture for one batch of crusts. After those baked, I removed them from the pan, to cool.  To the egg mixture, I added 1 additional egg, about 1/4 cup of milk, a dash more nutmeg and 2 tbsp flour and mixed to combine. Spray the pan again fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until egg mixture puffs and is firm to the touch.
Both can be served at room temperature or warmed up.

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