Friday, 15 June 2012

Thank goodness it's Pieday!

This week's pie is ultra-simple and so good for children just learning to cook, it's also a handy thing to have in the freezer if you need food for an impromptu picnic or a quick but reasonably healthy dinner for the kids (just add a tin of new potatoes and some frozen peas).
 I was going to use a proper rough-puff pastry this week, but while I was buying milk I noticed some ready-rolled herb pastry and wondered what it would be like.
 It turned out to be pretty good, but I'd recommend making your own if you feel up to it: either a rough puff or a more traditional shortcrust.

Mini Quiche


One recipe or packet of pastry
One egg
A generous handful of cheese (we used a mixture of Cheddar and Peccorino Romano,)
Some vegetables (we used tomatoes and green beans) either fresh or frozen
A splash of milk
Some fresh herbs 

Roll out the pastry and cut it into circles using a large pastry cutter, put the circles into a bun-tin or muffin tin, pressing each down lightly so that they conform to the depressions in the tin.

Grate the cheese and slice any large vegetables

Place the vegetables in the pastry circles, then sprinkle on the herbs.
We used tomatoes* with basil, and green beans** with mint.
I would have used peas as well as the beans, to make a summery green quiche, but what I thought was a bag of peas turned out to be yet more green beans.

Now crack the egg, add the milk and beat them together, seasoning if you want.

Share the egg-mixture between the proto-quiches.

Top with the cheese

Bake in the oven at about 180 for twenty minutes, checking to see the they aren't ready sooner and lowering or raising the temperature as appropriate (times and temperatures may vary depending on the pasty you use).

Remove from the oven and leave for ten minutes to cool a little and shrink away from the sides of the tin.

Either serve, or throw them into a bag and dump them in the freezer.***

You can make these with pretty much any vegetable and cheese combination that appeals: stilton and mushroom works particularly well, as, I suspect, would feta and pre-roasted butternut squash.
And of course you can add meat if you feel the need: snipped up ham or bacon is perfectly acceptable I'm told.

*Not actually a vegetable I know.
**Yes, yes, I take your point.
*** I should probably say something about defrosting them really thoroughly here, but, lets be honest, I just throw them in the microwave for three minutes and call them cooked.

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