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This recipe can be used as the basis for many variations, which is always a help in the kitchen . We are fortunate at Casa de las Flores to have the mild spring time climate that we are famous for and the fresh herbs that grow in our garden year round. This is one of the popular breakfast dishes served at Casa de Las Flores and I hope you will enjoy it at home.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in the upper middle of oven. Mix all ingredients together, saving half of the shredded cheese, and whisk until eggs are well incorporated into the mixture. Ladle mixture into buttered 10 x 10-inch glass casserole; sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over casserole so the cheese is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 55 minutes until set and top is golden. Test with knife inserted in center -- if knife comes out clean, it is done. Allow to cool 10 minutes and cut into portions and serve on warm plates. This version has a chewy cheese texture.
Water Bath Variation: For a more delicate texture, this recipe can be baked in a water bath. Place your 10 x 10-inch casserole dish with egg mixture in a low-sided jelly roll pan and pour hot water around your casserole to the height of about half an inch and bake as above. I recommend placing your casserole on the jelly roll pan without water and place pan with casserole on your oven rack and pull out the rack enough so that you can easily pour hot water from a kettle around your casserole into the pan . Be very careful when you take out just the casserole from the oven and leave the pan with hot water to cool so that you do not spill hot water from the water bath on yourself or splash hot water on your finished casserole. This version has a much more delicate custard texture.
More Variations: This is a wonderful work-horse of a recipe -- you can add any of a number of ingredients to the torte and serve with innumerable sauces and garnishes. Try changing the cheese combination as well. You can add to the egg torte mixture if desired sauteed mushrooms, roasted peppers, crumbled fried sausage or bacon, or sauteed onions. You can also mix in ground saffron instead of nutmeg. You can also sauce the torte in hundreds of different ways with the only limitations being the freshest of seasonal ingredients available and your own imagination. Sauce the torte with a pesto sauce, sauteed chopped fresh tomatoes, or a mushroom sauce. At Casa de Las Flores, we often serve this dish with slivers of rose petals or other edible flower blossoms.
Freezing: This recipe freezes well. Wrap individual portions in plastic film and freeze on metal tray, then place individual servings, once frozen, in a plastic bag. Take out 8 hours before serving and place in your refrigerator. One to two hours before serving, take out of your refrigerator and unwrap place on tray and let thaw. You can then heat portions in the microwave. Place portions in a glass casserole and cover with plastic film that has been pricked to form a small hole and cook for 1 minute 20 seconds for individual or 2 to 3 minutes for 2 to 4 portions.
Serves: 4 to 6
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