Even as I dug into my refrigerator with the thought of savory treats, I found all the ingredients stocked that perfected the recipe I had on my mind. Spinach, cream and cheese and that's all I needed to flavor this recipe...
In French cuisine, a quiche is a baked dish that is based on a custard made from eggs and milk or cream in a pastry crust. Usually, the pastry shell is blind baked before the other ingredients are added for a secondary baking period. Other ingredients such as cooked chopped meat, vegetables, or cheese are often added to the egg mixture before the quiche is baked. Quiche is generally an open pie (i.e. does not contain a pastry covering), but may include an arrangement of tomato slices or pastry off-cuts for a decorative finish. Quiche can be eaten warm but is more commonly eaten cold, making it a suitable component of the food served in a typical summer picnic. (Source: Wikipedia)
The best part of this recipe is the base tart which was made crisp and spicy. The spinach filling itself was mildly flavored, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. It could probably have gone with more cheese for the filling which I realized after it came out of the oven. Never the less, it was still great. Although I used cheddar cheese which has a sharp cheesy taste, the spinach fillings can be paired well with cottage cheese as well. The cheese would taste milder then. They might seem intimidating, but they’re easier than you think!
Spinach n' Cheese Mini Quiche
Prepare the tart base:
100 gm all purpose flour
50 gm cold butter, cut to pieces
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Ice cold water to bind
Begin with mixing the flour, red chilly powder and cold butter in a mixing bowl using finger tips, till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Work quickly so that the butter does not melt resulting the mixture to become greasy. Next, make a well in the middle and pour in the ice cold water. Using a fork, stir and bind into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough with a cling film and put it into the freezer for 10 minutes. Place the dough between 2 sheets of cling films and roll from the center to the edges till it is about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut out circles larger than the tartlet molds. Gently fit them in the molds and press them to the edges. Blind bake (without any filling) them for about 10 minutes.
Prepare the tart fillings:
2 bunches spinach leaves, washed and chopped
4-5 chopped garlic pods
1 tsp melted butter
2 tbsp fresh cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
A dash of lime
Grated cheddar cheese
Finely chop the washed spinach leaves. On a pan, melt butter and add chopped garlic and fry for a minute. Add the chopped spinach leaves and let it to cook for few minutes. Add the fresh cream and the spices. Stir well. Remove from the stove and add and dash of lime juice if you prefer tang. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each tart with grated cheddar cheese. Fill the spinach filling into the tarlets and bake them again on 180 degrees C for about 15 minutes or till the cheese melts. Tastes best when served warm.