Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas A to Z Letter Q

Welcome Back to Christmas A to Z
Q …is for Quiche, Quilt and Croquembouche
Quiche
Christmas morning is quite busy, therefore, some people choose to have a  Christmas brunch instead of breakfast and lunch. Christmas Quiche is one thing that might be served for brunch.
Christmas Quiche
Christmas QuicheIngredients:Pastry
1 cup Pastry Flour
8 tbsp butter, cold diced
1 egg, large
1-3 tbps cold water
 
Filling
½ cup spinach
½ cup feta cheese
1 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsps fresh cranberries
½ cup milk
½ cup double cream
2 eggs, large
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
InstructionsPlace the flour in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a food processor) with the cold diced butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
With the processor running, add an egg followed by 1-3 tbsps of cold water until the pastry just comes together.  In a bowl you’d make a well in the center adding the egg and a little water and working the pastry together with a table knife. Gather the pastry together and knead lightly until the pastry is even. Wrap it in a plastic bag and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Lightly flour the work surface and roll the pastry out nice and evenly.
Grease your quiche tin or pie pan(8″ loose based fluted tin) and use the rolled out pastry to line.
Trim off any excess and then put the pastry case into the fridge for firm for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper (it helps to make the paper softer by scrunching it up first).  Fill with baking beans and bake in the oven for 10 minutes before removing the paper and beans and baking for a further 5 minutes.
Now for the filling.
Gently wilt the spinach with a little oil and salt and pepper in a pan. Add this to the base of your baked pastry shell. Dice/crumble the feta and add it on top of the spinach along with the pine nuts and cranberries. Whisk together the milk, double cream, eggs and egg yolks, salt and pepper and Dijon mustard. Pour the mixture carefully into the pastry case.  You may not need all of it, depending on the size of your tin, be sure not to overflow the case!
Bake the quiche in the oven for 45 minutes until golden brown on top and the middle has lost it’s wobble! Serve warm or cold or let it cool, wrap well and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Quilts
I love making quilts, and a Christmas quilt is a wonderful way to add a warm comforting feeling to your decorating.
Baltimore Christmas by Cindy Greco, photo by Quilt Inspiration, quiltinspiration.blogspot.com
This beautiful quilt is an example of decorating with a Christmas Quilt. You can hand it on the wall or use it for warmth on a cold evening. This quilt won Best of Show and 1st Place Appliqué at the 2012 Contra Costa County Quilt Show (California). The applique work and quilting, done by Cindy Greco, was outstanding. This design was inspired by the Baltimore Album quilts made between 1846 and 1852.
Croquembouche
I know this word does not begin with “Q”, but it has a “q” in it…
The name of this classic French dessert means "crunch in the mouth"; A croquembouche or croque-en-bouche is a French dessert consisting of choux pastry balls piled into a cone and bound with threads of caramel.
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The first time I saw this dessert is when Martha Stewart made it on a Christmas Special many years ago. I know you have seen this shape created from many different things at Christmastime. If you did not want to make a traditional croquembouche, you could make one from candy, cookies, chocolates or whatever you enjoy.
croquembouche- profiteroles-wedding-cake
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I hope you will join me again tomorrow
for more of the Christmas Celebration
Carolyn and the Bears

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