Baking for large functions.

Mini quicheBeing the owner of my own cupcake dessert company, I do get quite a few large orders per year. I have done a number of weddings, customer appreciation days, networking events, launch parties, and Christmas parties that require a lot more work than just the standard 2 dozen order. I often get asked, “How do you do it!?!”. And although I now have my own employee, I didn’t have one before October of last year and had to do everything by myself. I did have help on one occasion but besides that, it was all me.

Planning. Calculating. Anticipating.

It’s hard work but it pays off. It sometimes leaves you with a ton of leftover ingredients, like tart shells for example. Thanks to a 1000 cupcake and pie order last month, I am now stuck with a large box of tart shells containing 200 pre-made pie shells.

What to do with them? Mini ham, caramelized onion and scallion quiche.

Luckily, my boyfriend’s friend’s 40th birthday was coming up. Perfect opportunity use up a fraction of these shells.

I catered a very large Christmas party in December where red velvet cupcakes and pumpkin pies were requested in relation to the holiday season. Samples were given and they were happy with the product; however, they wanted a bigger size. Problem.

You see, when baking for large orders or functions, I really try to push for the miniature-sized goods. Why? Well, baking can take a long time. And can get costly. Not only was I paying for specialized ingredients that we didn’t have on-hand, I am also paying for the amount of labour that my employee is working. And it is also my own personal time.

A regular batch of cupcakes, for example, yields 1 dozen (12) cupcakes, whereas, the same batch yields 4 dozen (48) cupcakes. And from start to finish? Takes about 35-45 minutes. Do the math. See the difference there?

It’s also a good idea to set a minimum order as well, for both large and regular orders. It lets you have a bit of control which is good when you’re accounting for your own time, money, and ingredients. People don’t really understand why they can’t order twelve flavours in an order of a dozen. Think about it – I’ll have to make 12 different flavours. What happens to the rest of the cupcakes that aren’t going into the order? It all goes to waste — which is what I hate and would like to reduce, both in my business and in my own personal kitchen.

Anyways, back to the recipe.

Quiches are so easy and flexible in terms of ingredients. You have your savoury egg custard base and the combination for fillings are practically endless. Use whatever you have. I usually like a meat, cheese, and herb combo but seriously, there are no rules here. Experiment away.

No mini tart shells on hand? No problem. Just pour the batter into a standard 9″ pie crust and bake for 20 minutes.
Quiche Mini quiche Mini quiche Mini quiche Mini quicheMini ham, caramelized onions and scallion quiches

What you’ll need:
– 50 frozen mini premade pie shells
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup half and half cream
– 1 1/2 cups ham sausage, diced
– 2 stalks green onion, chopped
– 2 onions, sliced
– 2 tsps ghee or vegetable oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste

What you’ll need to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and take out the frozen pie shells from the freezer. Arrange pie shells on three baking sheets.
2. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper.
3. Over medium-high heat, melt the ghee or vegetable oil and add the sliced onions. Caramelize the onions until the colour has darkened, about 10 minutes.
4. Place a heaping tsp of ham, caramelized onions and a sprinkle of green onions in each tart.
5. Pour the egg mixture in each of tarts and fill until it has reached the rim of the tart. Repeat this step until all the pie shells are frozen.
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until the center has set. Makes 50 mini quiches.

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