To many cooks, a quiche is a quiche Lorraine, a French tart consisting of a flaky crust filled with savoury custard and pieces of bacon, seafood or vegetables. But quiche is really a generic term for non-sweet pies filled with eggs, cream and cheese.
This recipe that I’m sharing is for a basic quiche which can be filled with any type of meat or vegetable. I’ve kept this recipe vegetarian although strictly speaking, quiche Lorraine should contain bacon or lardons. There are also quiches that contain onions, mushrooms, smoked salmon, and many other fillings.
For the video that accompanies this recipe, I have made six mini quiches, two of each of the vegetables that I used, namely spinach, mushrooms and eggplant. You may substitute with any filling that you wish. If you are using a 12-well muffin tin, you will need to double the amount of short crust pastry dough to account for more side crusts.
I ended up with a lot of excess filling and custard, so I made an additional batch of short crust pastry dough to bake a 25-centimetre quiche with a mixture of all three fillings for my colleagues. I’ve included in this recipe the instructions for both mini quiches and a full quiche pie and I hope it’s not too confusing.
Because I’m not blind-baking the crust before filling, I need to keep the filled pies chilled in the refrigerator before introducing it into the preheated oven. It’s the sudden blast of high temperature that will cause 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 protein, carbohydrate and fats and vitamins. Just the perfect picnic lunch or afternoon snack for Pi Day today.
- Short crust pastry:
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 100g cold unsalted butter
- 50ml cold water
- ¼ tsp salt to taste
- 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
- 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.
- Chill in refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in frying pan and sauté garlic until wilted. Add chopped spinach to sauté until wilted. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside to cool completely.
- Heat cooking oil in a clean frying pan. Fry slices of eggplant in batches until crispy and lightly brown. Drain excess oil on paper towels and allow to cool completely.
- 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 juice. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté until it's almost completely dry. Set aside to cool completely.
- Roll out short crust pastry to about 5-centimetre thickness. Press dough into a 25-centimetre pie tin and build a fluted edge around the rim. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes before filling.
- Fill bottom of pie dough with a layer of mushrooms, followed by spinach and finally eggplant.
- 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.
- 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 in oven without opening the door, about 30 minutes. Cut into slices only when custard has completely set. It may be served warm or cold.
- If making mini quiches, double the amount of short crust pastry dough. Roll out short crust pastry to about 5-centimetre thickness and cut out 12 discs with a rice bowl. Press into a 12-well muffin tin and build a fluted edge around the rim of each mini pie. Fill each well with a different vegetable filling and top with custard. Allow to chill in refrigerator for about 10 minutes before baking.
- 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 in oven without opening the door, about 10 minutes. It may be served warm or cold.