Sunday, January 22, 2012

Let's Talk about Quiche

Cause really, who doesn't want to? (*glares menacingly*) Quiche is something of a family tradition on my mother's side, likely because her parents were so fond of French cuisine.  Today's recipe is for Ham and Cheese Quiche, and is only loosely based off my family recipe.  Quiche is easily adaptable to fit whatever is in your fridge at the time, so long as you get the basic custardy goodness down. This particular quiche version was inspired by my need to use up the last of the New Year ham. (waste not!) The recipe below is for two quiches, since I had two pie crusts, but the original is for one, and this recipe can be easily halved.

What You'll Need
Large mixing bowl                                                   Cheese grater
Mixing spoon                                                            Liquid measuring cup
Medium mixing bowl                                                2 pie plates
8 eggs                                                                       1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cans cream of onion soup                                       salt and pepper to taste
8 oz swiss cheese                                                      6-8 oz leftover ham
8 oz white cheddar cheese                                        1 cup nonfat milk
2 tsp mustard                                                            2 pie shells

Now Let's Make Ham and Cheese Quiche!
Preheat the oven to 375F. 

Crack your eight eggs into your medium mixing bowl. Whisk them together until the yolks and whites are thoroughly blended.  Don't forget to fish out any shell before this step in order to avoid much grumbling.  Set the eggs aside.

Open the 2 cans of cream of onion soup and spoon the soup into your large mixing bowl. Ignore any directions on the side of the soup can, as we'll be using the soup undiluted. Over the bowl, begin shredding your swiss and cheddar cheeses.  I hope you have a nicer grater than my handheld one, although mine at least comes equipped with a lovely assistant.  This is a long, arduous process, so try not to nod off and grate yourself (flesh totally ruins quiche).  However, it's necessary, as pre-shredded cheese messes up the chemistry of the dish (what do they put on that stuff anyway?).

Once your cheese is all shredded over the onion soup (it's easier to mix that way, hence the order), add your eggs, 2 tsp mustard, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. I typically use about 2 tsp of salt and pepper respectively.  Mix everything together until it is well blended and the cheese is fairly evenly distributed.  

Now, it's time to add the ham. Take whatever ham you've got and begin pulling it apart into small pieces.  The pieces should be smaller than bite size, since they need to fit inside a bite of quiche.  I typically do this over the large mixing bowl, adding the pieces of ham as I go. Continue this process until all the ham is shredded, and mix the ham into the rest of the mixture.  Make sure that both the ham and the cheese are evenly distributed.  Pour 1 cup of nonfat milk into the bowl and stir it in. This should achieve the appropriate consistency for the custard filling of the quiche.  You want a relatively thick liquid filling here. Do NOT add too much milk, or you'll wind up with a runny quiche (mumph).

Set your filling aside for the moment.  Take your two pie shells and press them into your two pie plates. Make sure to gently press the crusts into all areas of the plate; you don't want any gaps that can create air pockets during the cooking process. I typically use one box of pre-made pie crusts with this, since each box contains 2 crusts (when I do my more traditional quiche recipe, I'll show y'all how to do the crust from scratch). Take the edges that go over the glass and fold them in, sealing them to the inner side of the crust.  The resulting edge of your pie crusts should come right up to the edge of the pie glass.

Now, pour your custard filling into the pie crusts, dividing it evenly between each. This is definitely a two person job!  You need someone to hold the bowl and half pour as you scrape the filling into the shell.  As you scrape, make sure the cheese and ham don't settle or you'll wind up with an uneven filling distribution (i.e. one pie with more liquid and one with more solids. Ick). Scrape the bowl clean to take full advantage of all that quichey goodness.  

Bake the quiches at 375F for about 50 minutes.  Check the quiches at 30 minutes: you should see the edges beginning to set with a still liquid center.  At 40 minutes the edges should be beginning to brown and the center should be almost set.  Don't be alarmed if your quiche looks puffy; it's supposed to rise.  Remove it from the oven after 50 minutes, and allow the quiche to settle and cool for a bit.  You do not want to the quiche too soon, as it might run everywhere (And being chased by a rampaging quiche is just embarrassing)

Mmmmm... quiche!
Wait about 5-10 minutes and then serve.  A quiche divides into about 8 slices, and it pairs very well with salad.  In fact, I've never eaten quiche without also having a salad, so anything else just seems wrong.  Quiche also keeps well refrigerated for about a week. Personally I think the leftovers are even better. Now, go impress someone with your newly acquired snooty quiche recipe!

My name is Sebastian R. Gato, and I *burp* approve of this recipe.



  1. A) I love quiche, and this is one of the easiest recipes I've seen. Thanks!

    B) "They" put cornstarch on shredded cheese pieces before packaging to keep it from clumping, which means that it doesn't melt correctly and is generally gross. *the more you know*

  2. Get your cheese grater today, and you too can have a lovely assistant (for only three low payments of $29.95)!

  3. Katie, you're welcome. Also thanks for the info. I just knew that they did something to it to make it lose some of its better cheesy properties. Blegh.

    Are we selling lovely assistants, Jen? Cause they can't have mine. Nope.


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