Mini Italian Quiche

If you want to make your own party appetizers, this is one that can be made ahead and served at room temperature.  I made the pastry and lined my muffin cups and put the pans, covered with foil, in the freezer several days until I was ready to prepare and serve.  I took them out, made the filling, and baked them.  You can even use your own pie crust recipe or purchased pie crust cut into 4 ¼” rounds to line the cups.  You’ll need enough pie crust for 2 deep dish crusts to have enough.
The filling can be prepared ahead and kept refrigerated until you need to assemble them.  It doesn’t look like enough egg mixture, but they puff right up in the oven and fill the cup.  If you think pancetta or prosciutto are too expensive, I wouldn’t hesitate to use some good regular bacon, precooked a little and crumbled.  Cooked sausage would also be good.  The red and green quiches are very festive for brunch or a Christmas Eve gathering.

                           Mini Italian Quiche
     2/3     Cup  Italian Blend Cheese -- shredded
     1/2     Cup  Sweet Red Pepper -- finely chopped
     1/4     Cup  Pancetta or Prosciutto -- finely chopped
  1            Tablespoon  Green Onion -- thinly sliced
  1 1/2     Teaspoons  Flour, All-purpose
     1/4     Teaspoon  Italian Seasoning -- crushed
     1/8     Teaspoon  Salt
     1/8     Teaspoon  Black Pepper -- freshly ground
  3            Large  Eggs
  1 1/4     Cups  Half and Half -- or whole milk
                 Fresh Parsley -- snipped
                 Pastry Dough
  2             Cups  Flour, All-purpose
     1/2      Teaspoon  Salt
     3/4      Cup  Cold Butter
     1/4      Cup  Ice Water -- -1/3 cup
Prepare dough.  Chill one hour.
Dough:  stir together flour and salt.  Cut in butter until pieces are pea size.  Sprinkle ice water over, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork, until all of the flour mixture is moistened.  Push moistened flour aside while adding additional water.
Gather mixture into a ball until it holds together.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.
To make quiches:  Preheat oven to 375°.  Shape chilled dough into twenty 1 1/2" balls.  Place each ball into a 2 1/2 inch muffin cup.  Press dough into bottoms and up sides of muffin cups.  Set aside (I chill until ready).
In medium bowl, combine filling ingredients except eggs and half and half.  Divide between muffin cups. In same bowl, beat together eggs and half and half and pour over filling in each pastry shell.
Bake about 20 minutes or until filling is set.  Let stand in muffin cups for 5 minutes.  Using a knife, gently loosen shells from the sides of muffin cups; remove from the cups.  Cool slightly.  Serve warm.  If desired, garnish with parsley and additional crisp cooked pancetta.
18 - 20 Servings
  "Better Homes and Gardens Holiday recipes 2011”
Per Serving: 139 Calories; 10g Fat (61.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 56mg Cholesterol; 154mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.

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