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As popular as quiche is for a luncheon or light supper, it is probably eclipsed in popularity by its tiny offspring, the mini-quiche. These little morsels are a marvel of culinary engineering; they imitate their larger counterparts right down to the ratio of crust to filling. Mini-quiche are perfect accompaniments to cocktail hour as they contain their own edible plates, don’t spill or slop about, and don’t need to be spread on anything else. Best of all, they’re the right size to pop right into an eagerly awaiting, open mouth.
There’s any number of quiche fillings that will work with these treats. The base, of course, includes egg, cheese, and cream or milk, but the clever cook can create several different variations from a single batch. One especially loved version includes crispy bacon broken into bits. Another celebrates spinach. Either of these versions is terrific with some sautéed mushroom in the filling too.
One way to change up the flavors of mini-quiche is by trying different types of cheese. A quichelet composed of goat cheese has a different texture and taste than one made of Muenster. Of course, there’s no reason not to combine two or more types of cheese for a richer flavor. Adding herbs such as thyme, basil, or sage rachets up the taste, and curry paste or powder adds pow.
The busy cook can buy tart shells ready for filling in the frozen pastry section of most groceries. Nothing is as good as homemade, but if the filling is sufficiently yummy, there’s a good chance no one will notice the piecrust isn’t homemade. Even busier cooks can purchase premade mini-quiche platters so that they are always on hand. Sprinkling them with freshly chopped herbs before baking might even fool folks into believing they’re homemade!
A little creativity goes a long way in the wonderful world of little bites. A cook who finds him- or herself without either premade tartlets or the ingredients to make them can create a mini-quiche variation by using refrigerated crescent roll dough or biscuit dough. Tucking bits of dough into muffin tins then adding a bit of the filling to each creates a new order of quichelets.
Some recipes do away with the crust altogether. Mini-quiche without the crust have a few more ingredients, including flour or cornstarch, that form a kind of shell for the remaining liquid ingredients. One version calls for preparing a mini muffin tin by placing a bit of shredded cheese in first before other ingredients are added. The cheese melts and cools into its own tiny container for the quiche filling.
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