For some reason, mini quiches are not cool anymore. There was a time when there wasn't a party menu to be found without these little wonders: Crust filled with cheesy goodness... what's not to love? But for some reason, quiche has become un-hip. To paraphrase Will Shakespeare, a quiche by any other name will still taste as good. These cheesy spinach and bacon bites are easy to make and wayyyy to good to be frowned upon because they are quiche.. I like my own crust recipe but you can buy mini tart or Phyllo shells and fill them if you prefer or are short on time.
CHEESY BACON, SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE BITES (AKA MINI QUICHE)
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, very cold, diced
3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
6 bacon slices, chopped
1 shallot, minced
5 cups baby spinach
1 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
For the pastry shells: In your food processor, add the dry ingredients and pulse to blend. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time and pulse quickly to incorporate. Once all the butter has been added (and looks kind of like uncooked grits) turn the food processor on ‘run”.
Add the ice water quickly, one tablespoon at a time just until the dough comes together in a ball. Stop immediately. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap. Form into a disc and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough about 1/8” thick. Use a mini biscuit cutter (about 2 ¾” size) and cut 24 rounds. Or you can portion into 24 balls. Press them into tiny non-stick muffin tins and chill. Also, I chill one same size muffin tin and then flour it lightly and press it into the shells to help make them smooth and uniform. Chill the dough in the tins for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling: Grate the cheese. Set aside.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. Add the shallots and cook just until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and the artichokes. Cook until the spinach is wilted; 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and grate in the nutmeg. Add the cooled spinach mixture to the bowl and stir just to combine.
When you are ready to bake the quiches, preheat your oven to 375°F. Divide the bacon and the Gruyere cheese evenly between the pastry shells. Pour in the spinach mixture, filling each cup ¾ full. Top each with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the filling is set and the crust is golden, approximately 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and remove immediately from the pan. Serve warm.
You can freeze the crust and use it when you are ready. You can also freeze the cooled quiches and thaw on a cookie sheet, then bake when you need them. A perfectly easy make-ahead party bite!
Yield: 24 mini quiche bites