The Incredible Egg … The Main Ingredient For These Individual Quiche Pies

The egg is literally my favorite ingredient.  It’s versatility is vast.  It’s widely available and, like water, often an ingredient that is  a bit taken for granted, under appreciated.  I am fascinated by how it reacts when separated and whipped into fluffy pillows with the whites, or when yolks are spun into a golden ribbon when beaten with sugar.  The texture of a tender, slightly jiggly custard is a thing I relish.  The egg makes a meal unto itself, or, is happy to be a team player and serve as a binder for meatballs or can emulsify with oil into a luscious spread.  It’s a satisfying protein and a humble thing.

Recently, at Chef Katie Averill’s Eat Street Culinary Cooking School, in Anaheim, we held a hands-on cooking class using several recipes from my Tea With Betty Book.  One of my favorites is the egg cream filling for making individual egg tarts (or petite quiche).

 

Quiche made with my favorite egg cream...and fresh herbs

Quiche made with my favorite egg cream…and fresh herbs

Fresh organic herbs and tomatoes from my garden, along with bacon (mmmmm bacon) and fontina cheese...ready to go into the egg cream mixture in your blind baked pastry shell..for quiche

Fresh organic herbs and tomatoes from my garden, and, pictured below, crispy bacon (mmmmm bacon) and fontina cheese…ready to go into the egg cream mixture in your blind baked pastry shell..for quiche

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This recipe I most enjoy using for mini quiche is so easy to make… add your favorite inclusions to your pre-baked pastry shell, then your egg mixture and voila…quiche.   I don’t always add cheese as I just love the egginess to be like a custard, but feel free to pull anything you want from your refrigerator and garden to create your own tasty little pie.  On this day, Chef Katie had found these darling, individual sized disposable tart pans for use in class.  They worked well as a vehicle for students to carry home their extra cooked product.  She found these at Home Goods.

Recipe:

Blind Baked Basic Pastry Shells (either store bought or homemade).

Egg Cream Mixture

Enough for 12 (2 ½” x 2 ½”) square tarts.

Preheat oven to 350º F.

¾ cup cream and ¾ cup milk (total 1 ½ cups milk product)

3 eggs

1 egg yolk

Pinch of salt and pepper

Pinch of grated nutmeg

Using a fork, beat all the ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed.

Fill blind baked tart shells with various ingredients. Suggestions include:

A large pinch of shredded cheddar cheese, two roasted cherry tomatoes (skin removed), and a torn basil leaf placed in the bottom of the blind baked pastry shell. Then fill with cream mixture, carefully, just to the top of the shell. Bake about 20 minutes until cream mixture is set.

A large pinch of shredded mozzarella placed in bottom of blind baked tart shell and minced basil, parsley, thyme, and chives.  Fill with cream mixture and bake approximately 20 minutes.

Note: Always use fresh eggs…check the dates.  When possible, I use organic eggs.  One day soon I plan on testing recipes with different eggs as there is a whole world of variety out there coming from our friend the chicken … a subject I am looking forward to researching…I can see a few “egg”  test kitchen tasting experiments in my future.

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. I agree with you, eggs are amazing and your tarts look delicious, in fact very like a small version of what I’m making for lunch today, a leek, tomato and cheese quiche. You might be just the person to answer a question that was whirling round my head this morning: what is the purpose of baking blind? Whenever I make quiche/tarts I make the pastry, chill it and then stick the filling in and cook it from there. I never bake the pastry first, and it comes out fine, even though every quiche recipe I’ve looked at says to bake blind first. My reason for not doing it initially was, I suppose, a lack of time (or laziness!) but since it worked I’ve always done it that way.

    • The purpose of blind baking (or pre-baking your pastry shell) is that it will not be soggy when you are finished with your end product. I remember growing up, my Godmother would bake custard pies on a regular basis and sometimes her crust was almost raw (which for me was not a bad thing)…but it really shouldn’t be…she did not blind bake (or pre-bake) her pie crust for her custard…. some pies are fine baked in unbaked pie crust (such as apple pie) as they bake a longer time than a custard (normally)…. but Lorna, if your quiche are coming out just fine without blind baking…I’d keep doing it that way.

      • Thank you very much for the answer, Linda. I remember that we did blind baking in cookery classes at school but it’s not something I’ve done in my adulthood. I do in fact have a tub of baking beans, and now that I know when I should use them (for quick baking pies and tarts) I’ll bear them in mind. 🙂

        • Yes…blind baking really helps with pies such as custard, which I recall from my youth having at my aunt’s home…and the crust was often undercooked and raw (which I must admit I loved just as much as a cooked crust 🙂

  2. Those hands look familiar. Nice job TC.

    • Oh those are T’s hands on those pastry shells aren’t they? She did do a nice job, very calm and methodical.

  3. I would love one right now!

    • Yes, me too.. I will make some soon and share with you.