Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Real Man's Ham and Cheese Quiche

What a magnificent quiche! I started with a couple of different recipes and then made the one below, which I consider my own.

There are a couple of things about this that might inhibit your making it exactly the way I did. First, I used a 10" Chanterelle glass pie plate. If what you have is 9", fear not. I'll adjust the amounts for you. Second, I just happened to have some asparagus on hand. You don't need to add it and, if you do, your egg mixture might come close to overflowing. I'd suggest roasting or poaching some asparagus separately or making a green salad.

The amounts in parentheses are for the 9" plate.

Ham and cheese quiche
4 eggs (3)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream (1)
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup grated cheese (I used jack and parmesan combined)
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
1 cup ham, diced
1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1" pieces, blanched for 1 minute and cooled down (optional)
2 pieces Pillsbury pie crust dough (1)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (375 for a non-glass pie plate).

Whisk one egg lightly with a tablespoon of water.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil out and invert you pie plate on it. Cut a circle of foil about 1" larger than the plate. Fold that in half and cut around the outside, about 1" in from the edge. You will use part of this to shield the edge of the dough while baking and disk shape for your pie weights.

Flour your countertop and lay out 1 piece of dough. Cut a 1 1/2" circle around the outside. Lay out the other piece of dough (remember you don't need this for a 9" plate). Fit the circle you cut around the outside of the complete piece and roll it together to extend the diameter of the dough. You'll need to patch with more of the first dough piece to finish it.

Place the dough in the pie plate and trim as necessary. Place the disk of foil on the bottom and put in pie weights, either beans or regular marble-shaped pie weights.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the pie weights and the foil. I did this by simply inverting the plate and dumping the weights out into a bowl.

Apply an egg wash with the egg you whisked. Return the crust to the oven for 5-6 more minutes. When it comes out it might have puffed up in the center. Prick it with a fork and then add egg wash to seal the holes. Allow the crust to cool nearly to room temperature.

Meanwhile make your filling. Blanch the asparagus and then plunge it into cold water. In a large bowl whisk together the remaining egg wash and the rest of the eggs. Whisk in the cream. Stir in the cheese, red pepper, scalliions, 1/2 tsp salt and a good grind of fresh black pepper.

When the crust is cool, put the ham in the bottom and then pour the filling into it. Place the ring of foil over the edges of the crust and crimp lightly. Bake for 25-35 minutes, removing the quiche from the oven when the top is set and lightly browned. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One last note. I was warned in one of the recipes I consulted to have all ingredients at room temperature before beginning to prepare this.


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