Saturday, November 19, 2011

Quiche Cups!

I worked from home last week, so you would think I might have had tons of extra time for cooking and blogging (considering I saved myself nearly an hour and a half in commute each day, not to mention 'getting ready' time). But, I was so busy taking care of my sick man-child, that I barely had time to cook anything other than chicken noodle soup. 

Turns out Evan has pneumonia, and it also turns out that pneumonia can be contagious, so my boss asked that I stay home, to avoid potentially wiping out my entire office. Quarantined! It was probably for the best though, since Evan was far too sick to even get out of bed. Sick men are more helpless than babies! After a couple days on antibiotics, he's finally on the mend… and that means I finally have time to do more in the kitchen than heat up soup and pour orange juice. 

After being home all week in this chilly fall-meets-winter weather, all I want to do is bake! (These pumpkin pie scented candles aren't helping, either). But, since I can't share potentially germy goods, I didn't want to make treats that I would have no choice but to eat all by myself.  So, instead of dessert, I made breakfast, lunch, and dinner: Quiche! And not just any quiche… individual quiche cups! 

Quiche is amazing, because you can add anything to it, and you can eat it warm, cold, or room temperature; next to a salad, or alongside a hot cup of joe. What was once reserved for fancy luncheons can now be eaten for any meal of the day, and these little individual cups pack up nicely for work (that is, if you're not quarantined at home). I use a press-in tart crust dough, so you don't have to chill and roll it—making these little cups of deliciousness even easier than a traditional quiche. I didn't pre-bake my crust, and though they still turned out great, for a flakier, crispier crust, I would recommend popping them in the oven first.

PS. My hot winter drinks poll is now closed, and I see rum in my future! more on that later!

Quiche Cups
Makes 12 cupcake sized quiches

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small cubes
1 egg yolk (save white for filling)

Preheat oven to 425 (if you choose to pre-bake crust). Whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry blender (or a fork or your fingers), cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas. Whisk the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water together, and add to flour mixture. Blend (again, using pastry blender or hands) until combined and can be formed into a ball. Separate dough into 12 balls, and press into bottom and sides of 12 greased cupcake/muffin cups.  Poke each one with a fork, and bake for 8-10 minutes (until golden). Remove from oven and cool.

Reset temperature to 325.

Filling (inspired by The Grand Central Baking Book)
5 eggs (plus 1 white from dough)
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated swiss cheese
salt and pepper
1 large leek, thinly sliced and sautéed in a little bit of butter and olive oil, sprinkled with salt

Whisk together eggs, half & half, salt, and pepper. Mix in grated cheese.

To assemble:
In each crust, add a spoonful of leeks, and top with egg mixture. Bake for 20-30 minutes (at 325) until egg mixture is set in the middle. 

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