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Crumble-Topped Crab and Pancetta Mini Quiches

Tina Rupp

Yield: Makes 24 mini quiches

Two-bite mini quiches are perhaps the most versatile savory recipe in any baker’s repertoire. They are perfect for a brunch buffet, holiday party hors d’oeuvres, or Super Bowl snack, and leftovers heat up quickly for a delicious breakfast treat. The rich, custard filling can be easily customized; and best of all, these bite-sized gems can be made well ahead of time.

This recipe is excerpted from The Everyday Baker. Read our review.


  • Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, for preparing the pan

For the dough

  • 1-1⁄3 cups (6 oz./170 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. table salt
  • 8 Tbs. (4 oz./113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 6 slices, well chilled
  • 2 Tbs. very cold water
  • 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the crumble topping

  • 2 tsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground paprika

For the filling

  • 1⁄2 cup (2 oz./57 g) finely chopped, lightly packed pancetta
  • 2⁄3 cup (160 ml) half-and-half
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 to 4 drops of hot sauce
  • 1 cup (4-1⁄2 oz./128 g) coarsely broken, lightly packed lump crabmeat (picked over and shells discarded)
  • 1⁄2 cup (2 oz./57 g) finely shredded, lightly packed Gruyère cheese
  • 3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (about 5 twists of the grinder)


Make the dough

  • Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Add the cold butter pieces and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut them into the flour mixture until the pieces are pea-sized; about 3 minutes. (You can also do this in a food processor using short pulses, scraping the blended mixture into the large bowl before proceeding.) Drizzle the water and lemon juice evenly over the flour mixture. Pulse until the dough begins to form moist crumbs that are just beginning to clump together, 8 or 9 pulses depending on your machine.
  • Dump the moist crumbs onto a large piece of plastic wrap or an unfloured counter and gather into a pile. Starting on one side of the pile of crumbs and using the heel of your hand, push and gently smear a section of the dough away from you to blend the crumbs together. Repeat with the remaining side of the dough, then fold the dough together using a bench scraper, turn the pile 90 degrees, and repeat the process until the mixture just comes together into a cohesive dough (this is a technique called fraisage). Be careful not to overwork the dough because that would make the crust dense. Shape into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or up to 2 days.

Roll out the dough and put in the muffin cups

  • Lightly grease 24 mini (1-3⁄4-inch/4.5 cm diameter) muffin cups.
  • If the dough has been chilled longer than 4 hours, set it out at room temperature until it’s just pliable enough to roll, 10 to 20 minutes. Arrange a large piece of parchment on a work surface, put the unwrapped dough in the center, and cover with another piece of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough between the parchment to a 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thickness, lifting, turning, and repositioning the parchment and lightly flouring throughout the rolling.
  • Peel off the top sheet of parchment and, using a 2-1⁄2-inch (6 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as possible. Arrange them in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gather up the scraps, reroll to a 1⁄8-inch (3 mm) thickness, cut more rounds, and add them to the cookie sheet. Reroll and cut one more round for a total of 24 rounds of dough. (If the dough becomes too soft, slide a cookie sheet under the dough and refrigerate for a few minutes.) Gather the remaining scraps, press into a ball, wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm.
  • Working with one round at a time, use your fingers to gently press the dough into the prepared muffin cups, making sure there are no air bubbles in the bottom and the dough is pressed firmly and evenly up the side and all the way to the top of the cup. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds. Cover with plastic and refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Make the crumble topping and filling

  • For the topping, arrange a box grater over a shallow plate or bowl and coarsely grate the chilled dough ball. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the shreds, gently toss with a fork (or your fingers) until evenly covered and loose, and refrigerate.
  • For the filling, cook the pancetta in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until evenly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the pancetta to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely.
  • Measure the half-and-half in a 2-cup (480 ml) measuring cup (the spout makes it easy to pour the custard into the crust). Add the egg, mustard, and hot sauce and whisk until well blended.
  • Put the crab, cheese, and chives in a small bowl. Add the cooled pancetta and salt and pepper to taste, then use a fork to toss until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Fill and bake the quiches

  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and set a cookie sheet on the rack. Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C/gas 7).
  • Evenly spoon the crab mixture (about 1 Tbs.) into the dough-lined muffin cups and pour the custard evenly among the cups. Scatter the topping evenly over the filling. Slide the tins into the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C/gas 6). Bake until the crust and tops are golden brown, 26 to 28 minutes.
  • Move the muffin tins to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Using a thin, metal spatula or the tip of a paring knife, carefully remove the tarts from the muffin cups and move them to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead Tips

The dough can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

The dough-lined muffin tins can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 1 month.

The unbaked quiches can be frozen for up to 1 month. Arrange the filled tins in the freezer until very firm, about 2 hours. Using the tip of a small knife, pop the quiches out of the pan, put them in a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container, and freeze for up to 1 month. To bake, heat the oven as directed, return the quiches to their tins, and bake until the filling is puffed and the crust is browned, 28 to 32 minutes.

The mini quiches are best served warm. If you’re not serving the quiches within 20 minutes, let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days; reheat in the oven or toaster oven until a fork inserted in the center is warm to the touch.


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