Saturday 13 October 2012

HLT Mini Quiche

Quiche (pronounced 'keesh') is a French style egg custard, consisting of an egg-cream/milk mixture, cheese, fillings and some spices and is usually baked in a crust. It comes from the Lorraine region of France. The French detest the use of cheese in quiche because it is not meant to be there. However, the non-French have tailored quiche to always contain cheese and that is how I learnt to bake it too.

Quiche can be served for breakfast and brunch, or for lunch with a salad. It can be served hot or cold, which makes it an excellent choice for lunch box too. It also makes an excellent hors d'oeuvres and can be served by itself or with tomato ketchup. You can really go crazy with the fillings and can mix anything that pleases your palate. Bacon-Mushroom-Spinach, Spinach-Feta and Ham-Leek-Tomato are the fillings that I usually use but there is no stopping at these. It is quick and simple to make and will be loved by the old and young alike.
Most recipes use 250 ml cream or milk or a mixture of both to 4 eggs to make the basic egg mixture. Another proportion is to take 1 egg in a measuring cup and add milk/ cream up to the 1/2 cup level mark. Below I've used a much lesser proportion of cream and milk, because that is how we like it at home.

Recipe for Ham-Leek-Tomato
Makes: roughly 12
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Custard Mixture
  • 4 large eggs
  • 60 ml cream (Philadelphia cream for cooking)
  • 60 ml full cream milk
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 50g double smoked ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup leek, chopped (can be substituted with brown onion)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • cheese, colby or cheddar, as required
  • 1 1/2 sheets of puff pastry, cut into 12 circles of 9 cm diameter
1. Heat oil in a pan and stir leek till it softens. Add tomato and salt and continue stirring till tomato softens. Stir in chopped ham and remove from fire. Let it cool.
2. In the meantime, prepare custard mixture by beating together all ingredients in a bowl. Into this add leek-tomato-ham mixture and a handful of cheese and mix well.
3. Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 180° C (200° C in conventional oven). Place pastry circles in  muffin pan to form small cups. Pour custard-ham-leek-tomato mixture into each pastry cups. Make sure that the mixture does not overflow. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and the filling has set.