Ham and Cheese Pie

quiche-002 Real men may not eat quiche, but my kids do when we call it “pie”!  I love serving “pie”  for brunch or lunch.  When paired with a salad—fruit for brunch, green for lunch, it makes a great, light meal that just about everyone seems to love. 

 I usually buy freshly baked quiches from one of my favorite local bakeries, which often has several delicious varieties from which to choose.  They go fast, so you need to get there early for the best selection.  I was a little too slow last weekend, so I decided I would simply make my own quiche.  And what luck—the short-cut baker in me was thrilled to discover that I even had a frozen pie crust in my freezer!  Making my quiche would be a cinch.

It is necessary to “blind bake” the bottom crust of your quiche while you prepare the filling, otherwise it will never fully cook.  However, keep in mind that the crust may shrink a bit during this step, so be sure your dough  is large enough so it comes just over the edge of the pie plate before baking.  This way when it shrinks, it won’t go below the edge of the pie plate and you’ll still have plenty of room for the filling.

The filling consists mainly of eggs and milk, but you can customize your quiche however you like.  Add veggies (sauteed first–also a great way to use up leftovers!), cooked meats, fresh herbs, you name it!  This time I decided to stick to ham, cheese, and fresh parsley, so as not to scare away the kids…or the real men.  

Ham and Cheese Quiche

Serves 4-6

1 pie crust ( I prefer Trader Joe’s frozen crusts, or homemade)

2 cups milk

6 eggs

1/4 lb.  rosemary baked ham (from the deli counter)

1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the pie crust into a 9 inch pie plate, crimp edges so they slightly overlap the edge of the plate.

Place a piece of foil over the crust and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove foil and weights.  Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling, whisk together the milk, eggs, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.  Cut the ham into small pieces and scatter evenly around the pre-baked crust.  Place pie plate on a baking pan.

Slowly pour the egg mixture into the crust and carefully transfer to the oven.  Bake for approximately 30 minutes until filling is set, but slightly jiggly in the middle.  Cool on a rack. 

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

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