from First, We Brunch
Individual quiches are great for potlucking. The foolproof whole wheat pastry recipe is from a local vegetarian restaurant in Bastion Square called Rebar. The bacon adds an excellent smoky flavour, though you can leave it out for a vegetarian option if preferred.
Makes 12-15 mini-quiches
Whole Wheat Pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup ice water
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
5 large eggs
1-1/2 cups whipping (35%) cream
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups grated Gruy.re cheese
2 (each 10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and wrung completely free of water
5 slices maple rosemary bacon, cooked and crumbled
To Make the Whole Wheat Pastry
In a large bowl, place both flours, the salt and sugar and mix together. Add the shortening and butter. With your fingertips, mix carefully until the dry ingredients and the fats form a coarse meal. Sprinkle in the water and mix with your hands just until the dough holds together. Form it into two balls, cover each tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Wipe the countertop with a slightly damp cloth and spread a large sheet of plastic wrap over the moistened surface. Smooth the plastic so there are no wrinkles. Place one ball of dough in the center of the plastic and press down on it with your palm to make a 6-inch circle. Cover the dough with a second piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the dough in strokes, radiating from the center, placing even pressure on the rolling pin. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Remove the top piece of plastic from the dough, and, using a cutter (about 5 inches in diameter), cut out circles. Place each circle of dough into a muffin tin and press them firmly into place with your thumb, tucking and folding them to create a shell. The dough will shrink a bit when baked, so it should be slightly higher than the muffin tin. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork to prevent it from puffing up when pre-baking. Repeat with the second ball of dough. Bake the shells for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden. Keep an eye on them while baking and prick with a fork again if the dough starts to puff up.
Remove the shells from the oven and turn down the oven heat to 325F.
To Make the Quiche
Heat the butter in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook the shallots for 5–8 minutes, until soft and translucent, ensuring they don’t brown. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
Spread the shallots over the bottom of the crusts, then sprinkle the Gruyere overtop. Scatter the spinach evenly over the cheese (breaking up any clumps), then pour the egg mixture over top. Top with the crumbled bacon.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is lightly golden.
Recipe by Rebecca Wellman, from First We Brunch, copyright © 2017 by Rebecca Wellman. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions.
Nada’s Tips & Tricks: These were a BIG hit with the family and they insisted we add it to our holiday brunch table. To save time, I bought pre-made tart shells. I also sauteed fresh baby spinach (stems removed) with the soft shallots. These quiches can take on many flavours: change up the cheese, use different flavoured bacon or even add a dash of hot sauce.