This year I splurged and treated myself to silicone. Bakeware, that is. Have you tried baking with this miraculous material? It is the best I tell you. As a mom, there are days when the act of baking something homemade feels heroic. The timer finally goes off, you let the muffins cool a few minutes, and as your child eagerly awaits (read: whines incessantly), you realize they are hopelessly stuck to the pan. Your poor kid has to settle for a pile of crumbs on a plate (“I swear it taste the same, just squish it together!”), and to add insult to injury you now get to spend your evening clawing at the sides of each muffin cup, cursing until it is clean. I can’t be the only one who has experienced this. Which leads me to the story of how my life was forever changed by silicone.One day at the park, I was whining to a friend about how crustless mini quiches were the perfect make-ahead breakfast, except for one major problem: They stick to my muffin pans with such tenacity that I’d given up making them. Even if I managed to successfully pop them out of the pan, they’d leave behind an eggy residue that days of soaking and scouring could not remove. When throwing the pan away sounds more reasonable than cleaning it, you know you’ve got a problem. My friend looked at me and said, “Oh, I bake mine in silicone and they just slide right out, even without greasing.”
It sounded too good to be true. What was the catch, I wondered? Is silicone outrageously expensive? No? Then it must be highly toxic. What? It’s actually better for me than the non-stick pans I’ve been using all these years? I ordered one that afternoon and haven’t looked back.
I love how versatile they are. I use mine to make crustless quiches, muffins, and brownies. I own the 12 cup regular size (purchased from Amazon.com here), the 24 cup mini-muffin pan, and just bought the cutest heart-shaped mini-muffin pan for Valentines day. They reduce waste (no more paper muffin liners), you don’t have to spray them with questionably toxic non-stick spray, and they take seconds to wipe clean with soap and water.
I’ll leave you with my (now completely painless) recipe for Crustless Mini Quiches. These are great to make ahead of time, are packed with protein, and can be made as plain for the picky or fancy for the foodie as you like.
Crustless Mini Quiches
1 Tablespoon butter
1 small onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
¾ cup milk or cream (I used half and half)
½ teaspoon sea salt
pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
2 cups chopped sauteed veggies of your choice (I use whatever I happen to have on hand. Today that was broccoli, zucchini, and red pepper)
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ cup chopped spinach
optional: cooked chopped bacon, ham, or sausage (I like to save a few pieces of bacon from Sunday breakfast to use in this recipe)
Preheat oven to 375. If you’re using silicone muffin pans (which I really can’t recommend enough) no need to grease them. If you’re using a metal muffin pan, grease the holy heck out of them with butter or coconut oil.
In a medium pan, saute onion and garlic in butter on medium heat for a few minutes. Add chopped veggies, basil, and oregano and cook until they are just soft, stirring often. A few minutes before they’re done, add chopped spinach and cook until wilted.
In a medium bowl (one with a spout works great for pouring) whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
If you’re using a silicone muffin pan, make sure to set it on a cookie sheet before filling them. I’ve made this mistake once, and they are impossible to transfer to the oven when they are not on a baking sheet. No matter how hard you try, you will spill some.
Divide grated cheese, sauteed veggies and chopped bacon evenly amongst your muffin cups. Then, carefully pour in the egg mixture, filling to the top of each muffin cup.
Bake on center rack for 25-30 minutes or until quiches have puffed up and have some golden brown on top.
These will keep in the fridge for a few days, or you could do what I do and immediately freeze them all to save for weekday breakfasts. Let them cool first, then wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze. I’m not a fan of plastic wrap, so if you have any better solutions for freezing do leave a comment below!
Yields 12 regular sized quiches or 24 if you are using a mini-muffin pan.