Of course the first thing that comes to mind for me when I have ham around, after ham sandwiches of course, is quiche. I’ve made ham & cheese quiche before, and you’ve likely seen this combination many times. But this one is extra decadent and amazing thanks to some super yummy cheese that I had on hand. I LOVE when a meal comes together without having to try too hard and when you just so happen to have ingredients that end up being delicious together.
I had a little block of gruyere and some wine soaked goat cheese left from the Easter cheese tray. Any cheese would do, but these seemed to take this quiche to a new level of wonderfulness. Trader Joe’s has a goat cheese gouda that I think would be awesome, similar in flavor and texture to the goat cheese I used. It’s not your typical soft and creamy goat cheese, this one is soft but still grate-able.
The crust and the base for this came from this America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. Have you bought yourself a copy yet? What’s stopping you? I had to do some things differently with the crust because I started dinner at 5 and it needed to be on the table at 7. I didn’t have the time to chill the dough for an hour, roll it and chill for 30 minutes, par-bake for 30 and then bake the custard for another 45 minutes. So I improvised. The recipe below shows what I did, but if you have the time, chill the dough before rolling and par-bake for a full 30 minutes. It will yield a crispier crust.
The quiche base is not for the faint of heart. It’s heavy on the eggs, cream and whole milk. Add in the ham and cheese and you’ve got yourself a quiche that is hearty enough for the manliest of men. Add in a little crumbled bacon and they won’t have a hard time scarfing down a few pieces. But it’s not so heavy that you can’t serve it at a ladies lunch. It’s just too delicious for any sane person to say “no” to.
You can take this quiche base and add in whatever you want to. Make it vegetarian with mushrooms, spinach, peppers, asparagus, etc. Use bacon instead of ham, or cooked chicken or other meat. Play with the herbs as well. Endless options. Enjoy!
Ham & Cheese Quiche with Thyme
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into chunks and chilled
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks and chilled
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
- 1 cup of cooked chopped ham
- 4 ounces of shredded cheese, 2 ounces of gruyere and 2 ounces of firm goat cheese such as goat gouda
- In a food processor combine flour, sugar and salt, and pulse a few times to combine.
- Add in the chunks of shortening and butter and pulse a few times until the fat is in coarse pieces.
- Add the ice water into the machine, start with 3 tablespoons, pulse a few times, then add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing once or twice in between additions, until dough looks like it is just holding together, but not until it is smooth.
- Pour the dough out onto a large piece of parchment and pat it together into a disk.
- Place another piece of parchment on top and roll the dough out, as quickly as possible into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top piece of parchment, then place the pie plate on top of the dough circle. Turn it all over together and carefully press the dough into the pie plate and peel off the parchment. Make sure the dough is pressed into the pan evenly, crimp the edges and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, beans or rice.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, prepare the custard mixture while it cooks.
- Remove the foil and weights, then immediately fill with the custard.
- Whisk the eggs, milk and cream well in a bowl.
- Whisk in the salt, mustard and thyme.
- When the crust comes out of the oven scatter the ham on the bottom of the crust then scatter the cheese on top.
- Move the pie plate to the oven then pour the egg mixture slowly into the pan until it is almost full. You may have egg mixture left over if you have a shallow pie pan.
- Close the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven when quiche is just about set.
- Let cool before cutting and serving.