Over the past few months, I’ve developed the habit of cooking a large batch of something-or-other over the weekend, dividing it into portions, and taking one portion to work with me each day for lunch. It gives me an extra 5-10 minutes to sleep in each morning, and anything that gives me more time to sleep is a winner in my book. Since I promised you quiche a few weeks ago, I thought miniaturizing them to fit into my lazy lunch prep scheme would be a fun and useful new experiment.
These mini quiches are great because you can cook them right in the container you plan to carry them in, then just slap on a lid once they’ve cooled. I used four of these 1-cup Anchor glass food storage containers and four of these six-ounce Anchor glass custard cups. I personally prefer the 1-cup containers because the lids are sturdier and have a better seal, but the custard cups are shaped more like mini pie plates, so they are easier to fit your crusts into. The Pyrex version of the same containers would also work well. Of course you don’t have to go out and buy new containers if you don’t want to; you can make these in a jumbo muffin tin and wrap them individually if you prefer.
You will need the following ingredients:
For the quiche:
- Savory pie crust (see here for instructions to make this, or just use storebought)
- 1 1/2 cups smoked gouda cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups assorted roasted root vegetables or other filling of choice
- 4 eggs
- 16 oz. cottage cheese
- 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp. ground sage
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. salt
For baking ambiance:
- Your favorite mix tape/cd (or playlist, as the kids are calling them these days). I firmly believe in the value of making a mix because it not only gives you an awesome soundtrack for your life, but also serves as a bit of a time capsule. I can listen to mix cds I made in high school and be instantly transported back in time. It’s also sort of a fun puzzle to fit together a dissimilar (or in some cases very similar) group of songs you really like. For more philosophizing on the science of mix tapes, make sure you see or read High Fidelity if you haven’t already.
Now that I’ve (hopefully) inspired you to create a new mix, let’s mix up some quiche!
If you are making your own crust, get that started now so it has time to chill in the fridge.
Next, prepare your filling. I used a combination of fennel, turnips, potatoes, and red onion, but bacon, ham, spinach, or anything else that strikes your fancy will do too. This is a great way to use up leftovers that are monopolizing precious fridge space. Just be sure to cook your filling first and remove as much moisture as possible.
When you have all of your ingredients ready, roll out your crust to approximately 1/8″ thick (slightly thinner than you would for a full-sized pie) and cut it into circles. I used the lid of a 2-quart saucepan like a cookie cutter, and it worked perfectly. If you don’t have anything quite the right size, you can use a knife and estimate. If it doesn’t come out right, just reroll it and try again.
Carefully fit your crust circles into your baking dishes, trimming off any excess which reaches above the edge of the container (you want to be able to fit the lid on it, after all). Mine are straight-sided, so I had to gently fold them and press the excess against the side. Just do the best you can. Keep these in the freezer while you are mixing your egg filling.
Crack your eggs into a medium bowl and beat them until they are slightly frothy. Stir in the cottage cheese, sage, rosemary, parsley, salt, and pepper until well-combined. You can vary the herbs and seasonings depending on which filling and cheese combination you choose.
Now take your crusts out of the freezer and sprinkle a layer of cheese on the bottom of each one. I used smoked gouda and it came out great, but cheddar or any other melt cheese would be good too.
Next, sprinkle a layer of your filling on top of the cheese. Each shell should be approximately 2/3 full (sorry, no picture). Pour some of the egg mixture into each shell until it is 1/8″ below the top edge of the crust, making sure that each quiche has some of the cottage cheese curds in it (they will sink to the bottom). If you have cheese left over, you can sprinkle a little on top of each quiche if you so desire.
Carefully transfer all of your mini quiches to cookie sheets and bake for 40-50 minutes. Start checking them every 5 minutes after 35 minutes. They may still be wet on top, but should no longer be jiggly.
To test, stick a toothpick into the center of your quiche. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Allow them to cool completely before covering and refrigerating them.
Now look forward to enjoying cheesy, eggy goodness every day this week!
Download the PDF recipe here: Mini Quiche Recipe