Mini Salmon QuichesPosted: December 13, 2011
Oooh – here we are on Tuesday and no blog post yet! I’m all behind like a cow’s tail, as the saying goes.
SO! Time for a quickie!
Steady now – family show….
Mini salmon quiches! Ideal for party nibbles, but in this house, they’re a firm favourite in the packed lunches. I make these so regularly, I think I could possibly do them in my sleep!
They’re real budget bites too – because they’re made with smoked salmon trimmings – a serious bargain at around £1 for 120g. The flavour is so deliciously distinctive, I can make either 12 muffin-size, or 24 mini-muffin sized quiches from just one 120g pack. If you think that’s a bit on the stingy side, why not blow the budget and splash another pound on doubling the amount of salmon. 😀
To keep for packed lunches etc: When cold, pack the quiches into re-sealable plastic bags and freeze. Add (frozen) to lunchboxes when making sandwiches. They will defrost by lunchtime. Wrap in paper towel if concerned about moisture.
Mini Salmon Quiches
Makes 12 muffin-sized, or 24 mini-muffin sized quiches
200g plain flour
1 or 2 packs of smoked salmon trimmings
4 large eggs
1-4 tbs milk
salt and pepper
- Tip the flour into the bowl of the food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
- Cut the fats into cubes and add to the flour.
- Blitz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs (30 seconds – 1 minute)
- Bring it together with water.
- Pour some ice water into a cup and put it next to the food processor.
- Get a tablespoon measure and put it next to the cup of water.
- Turn the food processor on to medium speed.
- Use the tablespoon to add water to the mixture. DO NOT pick up the cup and hold it next to the pouring funnel. Keep adding water one spoonful at a time until the pastry comes together in a lump. Why? – the delay between each spoonful of water allows time for the flour to absorb it properly, and reduces the risk of ending up with overly wet pastry. When sufficient water has been added, the mixture will come together into a solid mass. When this happens, stop the machine.
- Tip out the pastry and press it together into a ball.
- Wrap the pastry in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour.
- When the pastry is chilled, make the quiches
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan
- Roll out pastry. Because we’re working in miniature, the pastry needs to be thinner than usual -no more than 5mm, and prefably less. For this reason, it’s easier to work with small amounts of pastry at a time, so cut theball of pastry into thirds, keep one piece out and return the remainder to the fridge until required.
- Cut out circles of pastry to fit the tins you’re working with. This can be surprisingly large if you’re trying this for the first time. For example, I use the lid of my sugar jar to cut pastry for muffin-sized quiches – which is a generous 10cm diameter – and for mini-muffin-sized quiches, a 7cm pastry cutter.
- Important Note – I mentioned in the previous Mince Pies post some of the troubles I’d had in the past of pastry getting stuck to tins. I also mentioned that using pure fats (lard/butter) has pretty much eliminated the problem. Now even though we’re using pure fats in this recipe too, it also involves egg in the filling, and egg, as we all know, is the Dark Lord of Making Pastry Stick To Tins. Seriously. It’s right up there with Sauron himself. Baked-on egg also requires serious elbow grease to get off your tins too. What to do??? I hear you wail. Well, fear not. My (non-Hobbit-based) solution will have your mini-quiches practically LEAPING from the tins! The answer is to use baking parchment as a barrier between pastry and tin, thereby saving your delicious crumbly pastry from the ravages of egg. That being said, I did bake the batches in the photo without baking parchment, to re-test my theory that the pastry wouldn’t stick. They all turned out fine, but then I was also VERY careful not to overfill them, so no eggy glue spilled over.
- Cut out generous squares of parchment for each muffin cup and stack the circles of pastry on top. Put each base circle of pastry on a square of parchment and stack in a pile.
- Grease your tins. Just because we’re using parchmen, doesn’t mean a little extra ‘insurance’ isn’t worth it.
- Keeping the pastry circles on the parchment, line each cupcake hole with pastry. The parchment will keep the pastry from tearing as you press it into the sides and will make it much easier to lift out the cooked quiches. The pastry will fold a little on the sides, but I think it looks nice and reinforces the ‘hand-made’ aspect. You could probably ease out the creases using your fingers if they really bother you.
- Add the salmon trimmings. If you’re using 1 pack of salmon, it’s just 10g of trimmings per quiche for the larger size, and 5g for the smaller. If you’ve splashed out on 2 packs, then its double these quantities.
- Whisk the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Add some or all of the milk if liked. This will have the double effect of ensuring that the mix stretches that bit further, and will also ‘lighten’ the cooked pie filling and keep it from becoming stodgy.
- Add the egg mix to the pastry cases. Important: don’t over-fill the pastry cases. The mix WILL puff up as it cooks, so make sure the pastry is still visible around the edges. Start with 1 tablespoon of egg mix per quiche, and then go back and top up.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the tray 180° and bake for another 4-8 minutes. This applies to both sizes of quiche, the smaller ones will be cooked closer to 14 minutes, the larger size towards the upper end of the time.
- Use the baking parchment to lift the quiches from the tins and cool on wire racks.
Cost: £1.80 (using 1 pack of salmon trimmings, December 2011)
 Notice I said ‘tins’? In my experience, silicon isn’t a friend to pastry. It’s fine for cakes – LOVE baking cakes in silicon, but pastry? Not so much. Pastry needs a hot oven to melt the fat quickly and then crisp it up. Silicon never gets hot enough for the crisping, so use tins wherever possible.