Mini Quiches with Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola
5 from 1 vote
Mini Quiches with Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola combine sweet caramelized pears, salty gorgonzola, and a luscious custard filling, all inside a flakey brown sugar cinnamon pie crust. Serve individual mini quiches for a fun brunch or dinner (everyone will love having their own individual quiche) or bake the recipe as a single, large quiche. Mini Quiches with Caramelized Pears and Gorgonzola are also fantastic for entertaining, because they can be prepared up to 4 weeks in advance (see notes section below for make-ahead directions).
Servings: 6servings (will yield 6 mini quiches or 1 9-inch quiche)
2Bartlett pears,firm but ripe, cored and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 18 ounces)
1cupnon-fat evaporated milk
1/4teaspoonfreshly grated nutmeg
1/2cupgorgonzolaor other blue cheese, crumbled
To Prepare the Crust: Dice the butter, then place it in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, grind oats for 30 seconds. Add all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and pulse again, just until combined. Add cubes of butter and pulse, just until the butter is the size of peas (about 8-12 pulses; not all butter pieces will be the same size.) With the machine running, pour 3 tablespoons milk into the feed tube and pulse just until the dough begins to form a ball. Add 1 additional tablespoon milk if the dough is not holding together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, form into a flat ball, wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 6 mini pie tins (or a 9-inch pie shell) with cooking spray. If making mini pies: Divide the dough into 6 pieces (keep the pieces you are not working with in the refrigerator as you go). Roll each into a 6-inch circle, then transfer to the prepared pie shells. (If baking a single pie, roll into a 11 or 12-inch circle, then transfer to dish.) Crimp the sides, prick the crusts all over with a fork. Freeze the crust(s) for 15 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes (for mini pies) or 15 minutes (for a full size pie), until lightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
To prepare the quiche filling: Heat olive oil over medium high. Add onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add butter and allow to melt, then add the brown sugar and cook until bubbly, about 3 minutes. Add the pear and sauté until tender, 3-5 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, nutmeg, and salt, being careful not to create too many bubbles.
Scoop 1/4 of the pear-onion filling into each of the mini pie crusts (or place 1 and 1/2 cups in the center of a single pie crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top of each, until it nearly reaches the top, then sprinkle on gorgonzola cheese. (Any leftover filling or custard can be baked separately in a small dish or ramekin.)
Set mini-pie dishes (or single pie dish) on a large baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes until the custard is set (for mini pies), checking at the 10 minute mark. If the crust is becoming too brown, tent with foil, then continue baking as directed. If making a single large pie, bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the crust is brown and the filling is set. Garnish with pecan halves and set stand 5 minutes prior to serving.
To make ahead, fully bake the quiche(s), let cool completely, then cover the pan tightly with two layers of tin foil, and freeze for up to 4 weeks. To reheat: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Leave quiche pan covered with tin foil, remove from freezer, then place directly in oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until fully heated through (do not thaw.) Serve warm.
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