Saturday, August 2, 2008

Individual Cheese Quiches

Filled with a mixture of peppers, leeks, sun-dried tomatoes and Cheddar cheese, these easy mini quiches are best served with a crisp green salad and warm crusty bread and make a delicious vegetarian meal. Recipe makes 4 quiches.


2 sheets frozen, ready-rolled short crust pastry, thawed
1/2 small red pepper (capsicum)
8 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek
2 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
Black pepper
4 sun-dried tomato halves in coil, well drained and cut into strips
2 ounces (50 g) Cheddar cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and heat a baking tray.
2. Place the sheets of pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet in half diagonally to make 4 triangles. Line four 4 inch (10 cm) individual fluted flan tins with pastry, pressing firmly from centers to edges. Trim off excess pastry by rolling over with a rolling pin or trim off with a sharp knife. Prick bases. Line each pastry case with greaseproof paper and a layer of baking beans. Stand the tins on the hot baking tray and bake 'blind' for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Remove the seeds from the pepper. Place, skin-upwards, under a hot grill for 5 minutes, or until the skin is charred. Enclose the pepper in a clean, food storage bag for 5 minutes, then remove and peel off the skin. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice across into thin strips.
4. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leek and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, oregano and pepper to taste.
5. Remove the paper and beans from the pastry cases. Return them to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the bases are light golden. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
6. Spoon the pepper, leek and sun-dried tomatoes evenly into the pastry cases. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Carefully spoon or pour over the egg and cream mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling is set and golden. Serve warm with salad and crusty bread.

Tip: Standing the flan tins on a preheated baking tray helps cook the bases of the pastry cases. If you do not have individual flan tins, use an 8 inch (20 cm) flan tin.

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