A special mother's day brunch is a nice way to pamper your mom on Mother's Day or any day really. My mom Lois, a wonderful baker, lives a few states away so I am unable to spend Mother's Day with her. As I thought about her this week I thought of what I would make for her if we lived closer and I was able to make her a special brunch. This is what I came up with; fresh from the oven croissants, crust less quiche with cheese, bacon and herbs, a dish of berries with kiwi slices and a warm cup of tea. I couldn't resist the pretty petite roses that added the right amount of sunshine to my display and what mom doesn't like flowers!
Quiche is a great for breakfast, brunch or anytime really. It's one of my favorite items to make as it is easy and you can add whatever fillings you want to the egg base (recipe below). It can be made ahead of time which is handy if you are serving many guests. For my Mother's Day brunch I used cute pink polka dot single serving tart pans to bake the crust less quiche in. I thought quiche would pair nicely with warm from the oven croissants. I came across a package of frozen mini croissants at Trader Joe's where all you had to do was take them out of the box, place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet to let proof overnight on the counter and then pop them in the oven in the morning so you could enjoy them freshly baked. I brushed the tops of the croissants with an egg wash right before baking them and that gave them a nice golden color. I was pleasantly surprised at how much they rose and would call them a little bigger than a mini size. Small might be a better description for them.
Fresh fruit is always nice to have when you are having a rich meal so I made a berry medley of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. I couldn't resist adding some kiwi slices to the plate since I had a ripe one just waiting to be enjoyed (or photographed). A warm cup of tea to round it all out and I think it would be a breakfast or brunch any mom would enjoy being served. I sent my mom a picture and told her she was the inspiration for this post and even though we are far away I wanted her to know I was thinking of her. She is the one who taught me how to bake and when we do see each other the kitchen is often where you will find us baking for family. So this week I baked in honor of her even if she didn't get to eat it.
Basic egg custard quiche recipe - serves 4:
8 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
herbs of choice - I used dill
1 cup finely shredded cheese of choice
Bacon and Italian 5 cheese blend
Diced ham and sharp cheddar cheese
Sauteed broccoli, mushrooms and onions with Swiss cheese
Crumbled sausage with Mexican cheese blend and topped with a little salsa after baking
Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs in a bowl and mix in the heavy cream or half & half and spices. Stir in cheese and add in the fillings of your choice. The sky is the limit on the combination of flavors you can create. If you do use bacon I recommend crumbling it after it has been cooked crispy and adding it to top of the egg mixture after you add it to the vessel you are baking it in as this helps it not get too soft. The egg custard recipe was just the right amount for making 4 of the single serving tarts. You can bake them in a buttered ramekin or another small baking dish if you don't have small tart pans. You can also double the recipe if you needed to serve more or wanted to use a larger size baking pan. Bake for 18-25 minutes for small dishes and longer for a bigger baking dish. You want the eggs to be cooked but not overdone. I check it with a knife inserted into the center to see if it is set.
Note: These can puff up a bit when they are baking (kind of like a souffle) and then deflate when you take them out of the oven. Don't overfill your baking vessel as it may overflow. The tart pans I used were filled about 2/3 of the way up and placed on a cookie sheet to bake so if they did overflow I didn't make a mess in the oven.
This recipe is not exact as how much fillings you add to it will alter how many servings you get. You can mix up one batch and if you find you need more you can mix up another. These do keep well in the fridge for a few days so you could make a batch or 2 and have a great little breakfast or lunch that you can reheat in the microwave.
In closing I say to my Mom thank you for inspiring me, teaching me how to bake and for creating wonderful memories as we baked and cooked together in the kitchen over the years. I hope you enjoy the photos of the brunch you inspired even if you didn't get to eat it. Happy Mother's Day!
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