Mini Quiches

I bought two 12-hole mini Yorkshire pudding tins. Having never made quiche before and being a masochist, I decided to try out my new tins with a gluten-free variation on Quiche Lorraine.

I’ve used double cream but you could certainly substitute whole milk instead. Cream does have a lot of calories, but these are very small, so just have 1 and share the rest!

Makes: 24 small quiches

Ingredients
For the pastry:

  • 280g gluten-free flour, plus additional for rolling
  • 50g polenta (fine cornmeal)
  • 120g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg (it should weigh 62-68g in its shell), separated into 2 bowls, each whisked with a fork

For the filling:

  • A small knob of unsalted butter
  • A dash of vegetable oil
  • 6-8 lean rashers of back bacon (depending on size)
  • 4-5 medium leeks (depending on size), white part only, chopped very finely
  • 12 asparagus spears, tips only
  • 50g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 135ml (135g if weighing) double cream
  • 2 large/extra large eggs (they should total 135-150g when weighed in the shell)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Several stalks of fresh thyme, leaves only

Kit

  • 1 large mixing bowl and 2 small bowls
  • Clingfilm
  • Rolling pin
  • A 3″ / 8cm pastry cutter
  • Two 12-hole non-stick mini Yorkshire pudding tins (or 2 shallow 12-hole bun/muffin tins)
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Baking beans/beads
  • A heat-proof bowl for baking beans
  • A pastry brush
  • A frying pan
  • Kitchen paper
  • A vegetable steamer
  • 2 baking trays
  • Cooling rack

Steps
Making the Pastry

  1. In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour and polenta with your hands until you have a consistency like coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the beaten egg yolk, and mix it manually just until fully combined. Pull it together into a ball – if it seems too terribly crumbly, add a drop or two of water just until the ball holds together (see Pastry footnote). Flatten it into a thick disc and wrap in clingfilm. Put into the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C (160 C fan-assisted). Cut 24 squares of baking paper an inch or so larger than the tin holes.
  4. Unwrap the pastry, flour a worksurface and a rolling pin, and roll out the pastry to just a few millimetres in depth. Punch out discs and push with your fingers into the tin holes. Gather up scraps, roll out again, and punch more discs until you have 24. (You should use all the pastry, or, only have a very small amount left.)
  5. Put a square of paper over each pastry case and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the tins from the oven and carefully lift out each paper square with the beans. (TIP: have a heat-proof bowl ready to dump the beans into.)
  6. Brush the beaten egg white all around the inside of each pastry case, then return the tins to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the tins and leave on a cooling rack.

Making the Filling

  1. While the pastry is baking, fry the bacon with a bit of butter and veg oil until very crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Fry the chopped leek in the same pan until soft and starting to colour. Turn off the heat and crumble the bacon into the leeks.
  2. Steam the asparagus tips for about 5 minutes, until al dente, and set aside.
  3. Mix the grated cheese, cream, eggs, pepper, and thyme until fully combined.
  4. Put a small teaspoon of the leek/bacon mixture into each pastry case. Slice the asparagus tips lengthwise and put 1/2 in each case. Pour over the cream mixture using a large spoon (you should have just enough for all 24 cases).
  5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the filling is set and turning golden, and the pastry is browned but not starting to burn. Remove the tins from the oven, and leave to cool until you can handle the quiches. Remove the quiches to a cooling rack to fully cool – or, serve warm.

Pastry Notes
You may or may not need water – or indeed, all of your beaten egg yolk – depending on the size of your egg. You don’t want the dough to be too wet, even though damp pastry is easier to handle (it can be really tough after baking, and it can also shrink out of shape)

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