Violet Carrot Mini Quiches
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a couple of dishes that make a regular appearance at birthdays, parties, bring-alongs… Mine is leek quiche. Funnily, I’m not a real fan of leek, and do not like it – or even want to try it – outside of a quiche. I first had leek quiche at a friend’s many years ago, and she didn’t have any measurements for the ingredients, and neither have I – but you don’t really need accurate measurements, as you’ll see, no matter which vegetables you make it from.
I had some ready-made puff pastry in the fridge, as usual wondering what to make, sweet or savoury, no idea. Open fridge. Look in veggie compartment – ah! Violet carrots. Why not? Now, violet carrots aren’t very common here (yet), I only discovered them about 6 months ago. Which doesn’t mean I bought them, I was quite against buying them, actually, thinking “Why do we need to have that hybrid stuff popping up everywhere?” But I went home and googled them because I have to admit I found them quite interesting. The results weren’t really useful, some sources said they were hybrids, some said they weren’t. And then some day I thought “Oh, what the heck! I’ll be sneaking around them every time I’m at the supermarket anyway, so I’ll just try them.”
They’re sweetish, they give off colour when peeled (not as much as beetroot but you’ll still get violet fingers), and most of all they’re really beautiful inside. The package says they’re to be scrubbed only, don’t need to be peeled, and are to be eaten raw, e.g. in salads. I use them in many different ways, one of them will now become another standard, I think – the violet carrot quiche.
Usually a quiche will be very savoury, especially due to the cheese being salty, but the sweet taste of the violet carrots is quite distinguishable in this quiche, which gives the whole quiche a slightly sweet note but doesn’t take away its savoury nature.
Violet Carrot Mini Quiches
ready-made puff pastry
3 violet carrots
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
approx. 100 g Edam or Emmenthal cheese, grated
Peel and grate carrots, transfer to a small pot, add just enough milk and cream – ratio 50:50 – to cover the carrots. Slightly salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then let simmer for about 10 minutes. The carrots will be cooked quite quickly. [The liquid will turn lilac, which at first looks strange, but then it’s really fascinating.]
Take off the heat, grate in some nutmeg, let cool for 10 – 12 minutes, then swiftly stir in the egg, making sure to stir it through completely.
Butter 4 mini tart tins, then line with the puff pastry, piercing it with a fork. Add the carrots, but make sure to get more carrots than liquid into each tart tin, filling them almost to the rim. Sprinkle a little of the cheese onto every quiche, then carefully mix it into the carrot mixture. Make sure there’s a little bit of liquid in there, but it shouldn’t fill more than 1/3 of the tart tin. Evenly distribute remaining cheese on top of each quiche.
Bake at 180ºC (fan oven) for 15 – 20 minutes, until the cheese is slightly bubbling and golden. Let them cool for about 10 minutes, as they’ll be burn-your-mouth-hot.
If you want to make a normal sized quiche using a cake tin, approximately 8 carrots will do. Proceed the same way as above, using 1 part milk and 1 part cream, until the carrots are just covered. Add 2 eggs when cooled, and use 200 – 250 g of grated cheese. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes.
These beauties can be eaten warm or cold, and are equally delicious the next day as a lunch snack.