Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Freeze Ahead Quiche - Spinach, Feta and Artichoke

Spinach, Feta and Artichoke Freeze Ahead Quiche
Serves: 8

I decided it would be nice to provide a quick easy brunch menu for the bridal party and out of town guests for our wedding. I have been investigating various freezing methods and make ahead options for the quiches, so that we can transport them with us to the wedding location, frozen, and then pop them in the oven on Saturday morning.

Of all the research I've done the most sucessful way I've found to prepare a completed quiche ahead of time and still have a crispy crust after baking is the method I am sharing with you today.

Since we are expecting about 30 people to feed the day of the wedding for brunch I made five quiches, and seperate posts for the various fillings, the are:

Spinach, Feta and Artichoke
Ham Cheddar and Caramelized Onion
Bacon, Potato and Cheddar
Asparagus, Mushroom and Mozzarella
Cheddar Cheese (no post, this one is obvious)


Quiche Base:
5 eggs
3/4 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste
1 refrigerated pie crust

Fill Ingredients:
1 can of artichoke hearts in water  - completely drained and strained of water
1 package of frozen chopped spinach - completely drained and strained of water
1/2 a small package of crumbled feta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning


Prepare your quiche base, using a stand mixer, I beat 5 whole eggs with 3/4 cup of half and half. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper, and depending on the filling I added the necessary spices.

To prepare the pie crust - I am using a refrigerator pie crust - set it out for 5 or so minutes to soften the dough so its easy to handle. 

We purchased disposable aluminum pie pans, with lids to make the quiches in.

Once the pie is formed, place back into the fridge so that it stays cold while you assemble the fillings.
Spinach, Feta and Artichoke filling:

Take your thawed spinach and squeeze as much water as possible in a fine mesh strainer. 

Drain your artichokes as well. Then chop and drain again.

Taking a clean kitchen towel bundle your spinach and artichokes into and squeeze and much as physically possible to remove any last remaining water. Then lay out on clean dry towel for 30 minutes to ensure both are completely dry. Any excess water in these two ingredients will result in a watery quiche. 

This quiche is having 1 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder, along with a 1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning added to the reserved egg mixture.

Now comes the secret to make ahead freezer quiches, something affectionately referred to as making a "Cheese Raincoat" to protect your pie crust from becoming soggy. Mix about 1 tablespoon of flour with a handful of the mozzarella cheese.

Then sprinkle mixture on the bottom of your prepared pie crust.

Top with your feta, spinach and artichoke mixture.
Then pour over your egg mixture and top.

Finally you are ready to freeze, I set these in the freezer until they were solid, and then took them out - covered in plastic wrap and foil and then I was able to stack them one on top of each other in the freezer.

To cook, we took them out of the freezer and put them into the fridge the night before. That morning we preheated the oven to 375 and baked until the filling was no longer jiggly, about 45mins. Be sure to watch your pie crust, if you think it may begin to burn then cover the edges with tin foil. They came out delicous and everyone scarfed them down immediately.

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