One of my family’s favorite breakfast dishes is quiche. It is an opened faced pastry crust made with a filling thickened with eggs. The beauty of the quiche is that you can really experiment with the filling–anything from mushroom and asparagus to pepperoni and onion. My mom, otherwise known as the quiche master, usually bakes them with spinach or broccoli and left over bacon from Sunday breakfast, but honestly she could use anything and it would taste outstanding.
This weekend, I tried making the quiche. I did glance at a recipe in Baking Illustrated and had about half the ingredients it called for. Having seen my mom bake this dish a thousand times, I felt confident enough to throw in some substitutions and trust my gut. As long as there are eggs and some dairy based products, you’re basically all set. After deciding to use the leftover ham and spinach in the fridge, I whipped them together with the eggs, milk, and cheese. It turned out quite nicely–plenty of flavor and a creamy texture. Try it out yourself, and don’t be afraid to make your own substitutions!
Ham and Spinach Quiche
- 1 pie crust
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup steamed spinach packed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese Swiss cheese is a suitable substitution
- 4 ounces cubed ham steak or sliced deli ham
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Prebake the pie crust. Unroll pie crust onto a tart pan or pie dish. Cover with tinfoil and fold the edges to cover the fluted edge. Fill with pie weights (if you don't have any, I heard dried beans, marbles, or rice work). Bake for 25 minutes or until the crust appears dry and light in color.
Once pie crust is partially baked, set aside the ham and cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together.
Spread the cheese and ham evenly over the bottom of the warm pie shell. Pour the egg-spinach mixture into the pie shell and place in oven.*
Bake at 375° F for 30-35 minutes or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*If you are worried about transferring the filled tart pan to the oven, you can instead place the tart pan with the ham and cheese on the oven rack and then pour the egg mixture in.