Bacon, Cheddar & Mushroom Squares With Quail Eggs
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 45 min
- Serves: As many as you like!
These squares are a versatile crowd-pleaser. Just choose your serving size and serve, whether as a light lunch or appetizer at your next get-together. And the best part? They keep wonderfully in the fridge for up to four days — just heat and serve!
The cheddar shortbread crust is reminiscent of sweeter squares like date squares or lemon-coconut squares — but with a saltier, savoury revamp. Yum!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup medium cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp minced shallot or white onion
- 12 oz fresh button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 12 quail eggs
- 3/4 cup half-and-half cream
- 6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 2 cups medium cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Lightly grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
For the crust, stir the flour and sugar together. Slowly add the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until coarse and crumbly — the dough will appear dry.
Stir in the cheddar cheese and add the mixture to the square pan, pressing it in.
Bake for 12 minutes and let cool to room temperature.
For the filling, keep the oven at 350ºF. In a large pan over medium heat, add the oil, minced shallot (or onion) and mushrooms. Sauté until all liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms — about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and season lightly with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together. Stir in the cooled mushroom mixture, chopped cooked bacon and cheddar cheese. Pour the filling onto the cooled crust and bake for about 30 minutes, until the center of the filling no longer jiggles.
Cool squares to room temperature, then put them in the fridge to chill for at least four hours before slicing.
Squares can be served at room temperature or warmed for 10 minutes at 350ºF in a baking tray. Makes one 8-inch square pan, or 25 squares.