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Crustless Mini-Quiches


I love quiche because I love the four basic components of classic quiche: pork, cheese, custard, and butter crust.

Quiche is one of those things that can be easily pulled together, but it can also be amazingly time-consuming and complicated. The last time that I made quiche, I decided on Thomas Keller’s Quiche Lorraine from the Bouchon Cookbook (a modified version of which appeared in Food and Wine).

The Bouchon quiche may rank up there as one of the most challenging things that I have ever cooked. First of all, at a super deep 2-inches, getting the center to set perfectly is not easy. Secondly, Keller’s recipe instructs you to aerate the egg mixture to the consistency of a sloshy, frothy broth before pouring it into your delicate parbaked crust in 2 stages. And you must do this without the quiche leaking at all.

Tricky. Very tricky.

And I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely successful.

What I am successful at is the standard quiche, perfected over years and years of repetition. Even though I can whip up a butter crust with my eyes shut, it always seems like a big affair because equipment always needs to be pulled out of tight spaces, and countertops need to be cleared to roll out the crust.

And let’s not even talk about the clean-up!

So what to do when you want to get your French on, but find yourself pressed for time, space and energy à l’américaine?

You make a crustless quiche, Silly ;-)

Now before you scoff at a crustless quiche, let me just say that I love butter crust. As I might love butter crust even more than the average bear, I thought that I would really miss it in crustless quiches. However, I still thought these were wonderful.

Think of them less as quiches, and more like ham-custard poppers! Or quiche shooters!

The idea to use bread crumbs as a quick and easy base on which to build a crustless quiche comes from Gourmet Magazine. I changed the ratio of eggs to cream to milk so that the quiches would hold together a little better when you remove them from the muffin pan (the original recipe makes just one big quiche).

I used ham and Gruyère, but you can very easily use anything you like: cheddar, broccoli, mushrooms, feta, bacon. The possibilities are endless.

Special Equipment:

A 12-cup muffin pan, preferably non-stick (thanks, Laura! You’re never getting your pan back! Bwahahahaha!)

Ingredients:

1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs (or any other kind of plain breadcrumbs)

1 cup of ham, diced (you could also use a cup of chopped, cooked bacon)

1 cup of Gruyère, shredded

2/3 of a cup of whole milk

2/3 of a cup of heavy cream

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and white pepper

How to prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°.

2. If you don’t have a non-stick muffin pan, be sure to butter each individual cup well. Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with a layer of bread crumbs.

3. Evenly divide the shredded cheese among all the muffin cups.

4. Do the same with the ham or bacon.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, the cream, the eggs, the nutmeg, and salt and white pepper to taste. Carefully pour the mixture into each muffin cup (this is easier with a spouted bowl or measuring cup). Leave about a 1/4-inch between the top of the egg mixture and the rim of each cup.

6. Bake the quiches until they are set and the tops are golden, about 20 minutes. They will be puffy like a soufflé when you remove them from the oven. Let them settle and cool slightly before removing them from the pan and serving with a nice green salad.

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29 Comments

  1. I am so impressed that you even attempt culinary feats a la the Bouchon cookbook! I do like making these little crustless quiches, though–somehow a pile of them on a cake stand for brunch seems more festive than standard slices.

    • Those Bouchon recipes are not for the faint of heart! But you do learn a lot from making them.

      I like the idea of piles of quiche! Totally more festive since you can pop them in your mouth with one hand, and booze with the other!

  2. Hmmm…this is a very interesting type of quiche which I’m sure will charm my Mr. who is so fond of quiche. ;-)

  3. I, personally, love quiche but Hubby does not. I even tried stuffing the quiche with an ungodly amount of pork products and extra cheese. Still, no. Quiche is great because it’s one of those few food items that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Your little quichettes look wonderful! I’ll take five, please! :)

  4. I cannot count the many ways in which i adore you. I have been SO tired and stressed trying to figure out what I can eat on my new yeast and mold free diet, and minus the cheese this is PERFECTION and I will make me so happy, and I am stealing this recipe and making it ASAP. THANK YOU

    • You poor thing! You’re on a yeast and mold free diet? No cheese or leavened bread? No beer? Oh man! Well, I am so happy you have an idea for something yummy to eat. Good food definitely is my solace when I am feeling tired and stressed out. I am sending you good energy today!

    • Aw, thanks! Your recipe looks great too.

      I just found out a crazy thing: I was comparing Julia’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine with another one that I have been kicking around, and happened to read (versus skim) the introductory blurb for the recipe in Mastering the Art.

      Apparently there should be no cheese in Quiche Lorraine. According to Julia! No cheese!

      Could have knocked me over with a feather.

      I wonder if it is because Gruyère is Swiss, not French?

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  6. These are the cutest things I have seen all day! I LOVE quiche, and love everything mini. I should make a mini meal with mini quiches and mini cheesecakes for dessert, these look awesome

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  8. Dienna

    “Think of them less as quiches, and more like ham-custard poppers!”

    HA! :-)

    They look adorable and delicious. You have a new follower.

    • Thank you! I am quite fond of mini-food. It makes me feel like I didn’t eat a lot even if I ate 12 of them :-)

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! You have a new follower too :-)

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