It’s that strange time of the year, when we should be thinking about baking pies, stocking up on cozy sweaters, but honestly isn’t it still too hot for all that yet? I left the thunderstorms of Mumbai for the crazy desert-like heat of Delhi, hoping for a slight chill in the air… but… oh well, at least the air conditioning is working! What I really want to do right now, is bake a traditional quiche, but there’s no way I can stomach all the butter that goes into a Pate Brisee. And these mini-quiches made with filo pastry take care of these cravings, without leaving me immobile in this sultry weather.
I found some Chilli Sambal Gouda cheese and decided to shred some up for this recipe, but I reckon, a sharp cheddar with a dash of chilli flakes in the custard would make for a good substitute. Finely diced zucchini and bell peppers are my veggies of choice here, but honestly, you could use any combination that works for you. Mushrooms would be great too!
A traditional quiche would have cream in the custard, but in the spirit of keeping things light and easy, I’ve used whole milk here. A large egg will help us bind everything together in this custard. And we need to season it too!
Usually, you would need to lightly grease or brush some oil in the cavities of the muffin pan you use, but the great thing about the KitchenAid Professional-Grade Nonstick 6- cavity Muffin Pan is that it is truly non-stick and you can easily skip this step. Any effort saved in this crazy heat is totally worth it, right? And because the cavities have a capacity of 75 ml each, they make for a good-sized mini quiche.
In an ideal world, we’d all be making things from scratch, but Filo (or Phyllo Pastry) is so thin and delicate, that it’s best bought frozen from the supermarket.
Filo pastry is what is used to make baklava, with a copious amount of melted butter, but here it’s going to help keep the mini quiches light and crispy. Gently push the 2 squares of filo into each cavity, and tuck in the edges or else they will bake to be too fragile.
Once all the cavities are lined up, add the veggies and top it up with the shredded cheese.
Pour the custard just ¾ -th of the way in each cavity, because these will rise while they’re baking, and deflate slightly once they are out of the oven. Gently sprinkle the chopped coriander, it’s going to be the final touch that will bring the flavours together.
Give them just 20 to 25 minutes in the oven, just until the custard is cooked through and they are lightly browned.
These would be great for kiddie birthday parties, too, don’t you think?
Makes: 6 mini quiches in aforementioned size of pan
– Filo Pastry: 2 sheets (10 inches x 15 inches)
– Milk: ½ cup
– Egg: 1 large
– Chilli Sambal Gouda (can use a sharp cheddar too): 25 gms , grated
– Zucchini: 3 tbs, finely diced
– Red Bell Pepper: 3 tbs, finely diced
– Coriander Leaves: ½ tbs, , chopped
– Salt (to taste)
– Pepper (to taste)
– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
– Cut 5-inch x 5-inch squares from the Filo sheets. Using the KitchenAid Professional Grade Nonstick 6 Cavity Muffin Pan, hence no need to grease them from within. Place 2 layers of cut sheets in each muffin cavity. Tuck in the edges to ensure they aren’t sticking out. Then spray or brush the lined Filo with some vegetable oil.
– In a small bowl, whisk together milk and egg, season with salt & pepper and whisk that in too.
– Equally distribute the diced bell pepper & zucchini in each of the muffin cavities and top with the grated cheese. Pour the custard 3/4th of the way in each cavity and garnish with the chopped coriander.
– Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until just set. Cool slightly on a wire rack before pulling them out of the muffin cavities.
Best served fresh and warm!!