Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Brunch (Quiche and Apple Turnovers)

                                        





                                          
So today's Mother's Day. I woke up feeling very blessed to have the title of "Mom". In looking at my kids, I can honestly say that if I had it to do over again and start from scratch at being a mom, I would do nothing different. If I were to go and meet my maker today, I would have no regrets as I feel that I have given my kids the best start in life. They are well adjusted, happy and loved. I have one particular woman to thank for this-my Sweet mother. From whom I learnt all I know about being a good mom. I know you will read this. So I just want you to know that you're one in a million! To all the mothers out there, the soon to be moms and even the single fathers and grandmas that play that role-today is all about you. Happy Mother's day!

In celebration, of Mother's Day, I made brunch today that consisted of two of my favorite things-quiche and apple turnovers. I didn't want to go out to eat at a restaurant even though that's what hubby had in mind. I wanted to make something delicious that I would share with the people I love. I couldn't think of a better way to spend this morning. For those who don't know, a quiche (pron. keesh) is a savory, open-faced pastry crust dish with a filling of savory custard with cheese, some kind of meat or vegetables. A turnover is a type of pastry made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over and sealing it. To replicate this meal, here's what you'll need:

EQUIPMENT:
-A 9-inch pie plate or a 9-inch tart pan (I used a glass pie plate as I find it conducts heat better than the tart pan).
- A rimmed baking sheet (you will need to put the pie plate over the baking sheet to catch any quiche that spills over or it will soil your oven).
-Mixing bowl.
-Aluminium foil.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE QUICHE:
-1 roll of pie crust (I used store bought ready-made crust. You can make yours from scratch).
-1 cup finely shredded Swiss cheese. (you can also use Gruyere cheese).
-1/2 -1 cup turkey sausage crumbles (you can also use diced ham or diced, thick-cut bacon).
-4 tablespoons finely chopped chives.
-1/4 cup basil, finely chopped.
-Red sweet pepper, thinly chopped (red capsicum).
-Yellow sweet pepper, thinly sliced (yellow capsicum).
-1 medium onion, thinly sliced.
-2 cups heavy whipping cream.
-4 tablespoon unsalted butter.
-5 large eggs.
-1/2 teaspoon salt.
-1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar.
-1/2 teaspoon pepper.
                                          






                                           


**Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit**

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COOKING THE QUICHE:
-In a medium frying pan on medium heat, melt the butter and caramelize the onions until light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
                   


-Transfer the pie crust onto the pie plate and press the bottom and sides of the crust onto the plate to make sure there are no air-bubbles. Fold under any pie-crust that will hang over as shown in the video. Use your fingers to "crimp" the crust as shown in the video.
-Evenly place the sausage crumbles at the bottom of the pie crust.
-Evenly spread the cooled, caramelized onions over the sausage crumbles.
-Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the sausage crumbles (reserve a small amount to sprinkle over top of the quiche right before baking).
-Decoratively place the sweet peppers over the sausage. These will rise up when baking and will make for a beautiful presentation.
-Evenly sprinkle the basil over the cheese/sausage. Set aside.
-In the mixing bowl, combine the eggs, heavy whipping cream, chives, salt, pepper, sugar. Whisk well to combine.
-Pour this mixture over the cheese/basil/sausage mix in the pie crust (be careful not to overfill as the quiche rises while baking-it will run over!).
-Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the quiche.
-Carefully place the quiche onto the baking sheet and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 45-50 mins. Loosely cover the top of the quiche with some aluminium foil (to prevent the pie crust from burning as you bake). When there's 15 minutes left before its time to remove the quiche from the oven, remove the aluminium foil and let the top of the pie brown to a beautiful golden brown.
-Your quiche is done once the crust is golden brown and the center feels slightly firm to the touch.
-The quiche will look puffed up in the oven, but it will fall after it has had a chance to cool down at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

EQUIPMENT FOR THE APPLE TURNOVERS:
-Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.
-Pizza cutter.
-Fork.
-Knife.
-Cutting Board.
-Pastry Brush.
-Rolling pin.
-Medium saucepan.
-Mixing bowl.
                                        


INGREDIENTS FOR THE APPLE TURNOVERS:
-2 sheets of puff pastry sheets (1 package), thawed for 15-20 mins at room temperature.
-4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced to bite-size pieces.
-3 tablespoon unsalted butter.
-1 cup light brown sugar.
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
-1/4 teaspoon salt.
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
-The zest (yellow part) of a lemon-finely grated.
-Juice of 1 lemon.
-Egg wash (1 whole egg and 1 tablespoon of water, combined).
-Granulated sugar for sprinkling over the turnovers before baking.
                                         
                              

         



INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING THE TURNOVERS:
-In the mixing bowl, place the diced apples, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss together (the lemon juice will prevent the apples from turning brown due to oxidation).
-On medium heat, melt the butter in the saucepan.
-Add the apples into the pan and gently stir. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
-Uncover, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, vanilla extract and stir.
-Add the all-purpose flour and stir. Cover and let cook for an additional 5 additional minutes, or until the apples are fork-tender. Your filling should not be runny!).
-Set the apples aside and let them cool down to room temperature.
-On a lightly floured surface, unroll the sheet of puff-pastry.
-Lightly flour your rolling pin and make the sheet of puff-pastry slightly larger, smoothing out the folds.
-Use your pizza cutter to cut the sheet of puff-pastry first in half (lengthwise) and then cut width wise to form quarters. These quarters will each becomes a turnover.
-Place a heaping tablespoon of the cooled apple filling into the center of each puff-pastry square.
-Dip your pastry brush into the egg mixture and apply the egg wash on all four sides of the square (along the perimeter).
-Now take one corner of the square and fold it into half as shown on the video.
                                         


-Apply light pressure to seal the edges.
-Use the tines of a fork to press down the edges against each other to completely seal the edges so that the filling does not leak out during baking.
-Dip your pastry brush in the egg wash again and run it over the top of the uncooked turnovers.
-Sprinkle some sugar over the top of the pastry (this will give it an additional crunch).
-Using a knife, cut a small slit on top of the pastry to allow moisture from the apples to escape as it bakes (If you don't do this, your turnover will be soggy!).
-Gently transfer the assembled turnovers onto a baking sheet using a turner as shown in the video.
-Bake in the center aisle of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is a beautiful golden brown.

Your brunch is now ready. Serve hot with your drink of choice. Mine worked wonderfully with some cold orange juice. Enjoy!