Many years ago, whilst still at university, I worked part time at a soil analysis laboratory. The lab was perched on the edge of a light industrial estate, and lunch options were thin on the ground. The nearest shops were too far to get there and back in the half hour I was allocated to eat, so I would take my own lunch. When lunchtime arrived I would eat at a small desk in reception, wedged between the towering bags of soil and mushroom compost that were waiting to be analysed.
This was in the days before the internet was our constant companion, and the only amusement during my solitary lunch was the stack of books door-to-door sellers would leave at reception in the hope that they would be purchased. I was a poor student with no money to buy books, so I would copy out recipes that caught my eye onto the back of the bright green soil analysis sheets.
I have lost most of those recipes over time, however these Mini Ham and Cheese Edam Quiches are so good they have been transcribed into my prized recipe book. It is a recipe I return to time and again when I need a simple canape for a party or pre-dinner drinks. Just a quick word on ingredients though, as quality is the key. As I’ve previously discussed, only use butter puff pastry and select quality ham from your butcher or deli.
These quiches are lovely either hot or cold, and they also freeze brilliantly. If frozen, allow to defrost overnight in the fridge then gently rewarm in the oven prior to serving. If you have forgotten to defrost them, they can be rewarmed from frozen, although watch them carefully to ensure the tops don’t burn before the insides are defrosted.
My personal record for most mini quiches made in a single session is around 160 for my sister’s 21st birthday many years ago. These days I find a double batch to be more than enough. If canapes are not your thing, the quiches are equally good as part of a lunch buffet or tucked into children’s lunchboxes. For a vegetarian version, replace the ham with semi-dried (not dried) tomatoes.
So make a (double) batch, stash them in your freezer and move through this frantic entertaining period with a sense of calm knowing that you are prepared for the busy times ahead.
Mini Ham and Edam Cheese Quiches
These freeze well, so make a double batch and keep them in the freezer for emergencies. They work well both as canapes or tucked into children's lunchboxes.
To make these vegetarian, substitute semi-dreid tomatoes for the ham.
You will need shallow patty pan trays to make these quiches.
- 4 sheets ready-rolled butter puff pastry
- 125 g Edam cheese grated
- 125 g ham finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons cream 60ml
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced).
- Lightly grease the patty pan trays and set aside.
- Using a 6cm crinkle cookie cutter, cut the puff pastry sheets into circles and press into the patty pans.
- Combine the remainder of the ingredients.
- Spoon teaspoons of the ham & cheese mixture into the patty pans.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes until they are puffed and golden in colour.
- Remove the trays from the oven and allow to sit for five minutes before removing the quiches to a wire rack.
- Serve hot or allow to cool.
You can substitute any other Swiss style cheese for the Edam.
I rewarm these at 150C for about 5 - 7 minutes.