An Easter Brunch!
It’s been beautiful in Phoenix this spring, 70’s and sunny with some needed rain. Spring is my favorite time of year partially because my birthday is in the spring, but mostly because there are sign of new life EVERYWHERE! Plants and trees budding, baby rabbits and birds being born, and Easter. Easter is unlike other holidays and is fun to celebrate. Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, a cornerstone of Christianity. For me it means new life, forgiveness, loving my neighbor. So gather your family and friends together and whip up this simple Easter brunch!
Let’s start with the decor! A festive tablescape invites guests to come and eat! Everything we used is from your local home and craft stores, Home Goods, Target, Ross, Michaels etc. Pastel plaid napkins, small ceramic pieces, egg and flower garland, irridescent wine glasses, a pretty pink glass plate, and my “Gather Here” sign. Any table or countertop can be transformed by $30.00 worth of items and they can be used every year!
Next is the food! My daughter Brittany and I kept things simple, our favorite Prosecco with fresh raspberries, mini caramelized onion and goat cheese quiches, vanilla bean custard pies in three flavors, and a few Easter candies made for a light brunch!
We like the Kirklands Prosecco from Costco. Its crisp, a little dry, and is light in color.
The mini quiches start with gluten free pie crust mix pressed into cupcake tins. Next we caramelized a sliced onion in butter and put a few in the bottom of each crust. Caramelizing onions is easy but takes a bit of time. Slice the onion into thin strips, melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a hot saute pan and add the onions. Once the onions start to get sizzley, turn down the heat and cover for 5 minutes. This softens the onions and makes the process go quicker. Remove the lid and let the onions cook over low heat for another 5 - 10 minutes until they are golden brown and kind of gooey. The low, slow cooking brings the natural sugar out of the onions and it literally caramelizes.
Sprinkle in shredded Gruyere cheese.
Add the egg mixture, crumbled goat cheese and snipped chives.
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes, then turn oven down to 375, bake for 10 more minutes or until egg mixture is set.
You can also make these without the crust! Just butter the muffin tins well. They become low-carb bites of deliciousness! The recipe for the mini quiches follows!
The custard pies are always a big hit and look so pretty! We made three kinds, toasted coconut, lemon blueberry and raspberry white chocolate. Start with a basic graham cracker crust pressed into small pie tins or glass ramekins. We ordered our tiny tins online. If you are gluten free, try the gluten free graham cracker crumbs from Sprouts.
Brittany made a silky vanilla bean custard the day before our brunch, recipe to follow, and split it into 3 parts. She added coconut to one, lemon zest to the second and left the last one plain. These became the base for our cream pies. For the coconut pies, we added the coconut flavored custard to our crust. For the lemon blueberry, we put a layer of lemon curd in the bottom, then added the lemon flavored custard and fresh whole blueberries. Lastly, we swirled raspberry jam into the custard for the raspberry white chocolate pies and added white chocolate chips, although next time I think we will add shaved white chocolate instead. The white chocolate chips were a bit lumpy for the light creamy custard.
All the pies were topped with fresh whipped cream, scantily sweetened, and garnished with a couple of berries or toasted coconut. This helps your guests to know which pies are which flavors.
On a side note, back when my daughters were little, Easter time meant sewing time! I loved to make them matching Easter dresses. We would go to the fabric store and pick out beautiful chintz fabrics. A couple of weeks later it became two darling dresses for my little sweethearts. These were probably my most favorite. Brittany was 3 1/2 and Brooke was 18 months, 28 years ago! I worked on the dresses in the evening after they were asleep. I really enjoyed that type of creativity and doing something with my hands.
A Blessed and Happy Easter to all of you!