Ham & Cheddar Tea Time Quiche

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The quiche, universally appropriate for any meal be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a mid-day snack! You will usually find this tasty gem at brunch gatherings or maybe your favorite coffee shop sold in large slices. Having received mini springform pans for Christmas (thank you Sydney!) I decided to take on the challenge of making a single serving quiche.

In my research, I turned to the one and only Julia Child to give me guidance on this venture! One prized possession of mine is her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The pictures and directions are really easy to follow and I have learned butter makes everything taste better and that if you make a mistake there is most likely a quick fix and your guests will be none the wiser that anything went wrong in the first place. There is a whole section devoted to quiches and tarts and I quickly worked on scaling down the portions and working up a filling using ingredients I already had in the fridge because I was too eager to get started to run to the grocery store! You can substitute the ingredients for your taste buds and what you already have on hand, have fun with it.

The result of my efforts: a buttery, flaky crust and light, egg filling! While the process of making this dish may look long, I tried to outline each step in detail involved in making the pie crust as it really is the soul of the dish. Without it you are really left with a glorified omelette. The pastry dough does need time to refrigerate for a few hours so if you are planning this dish for dinner, you can make the pastry dough ahead of time in the morning. The dough can also be frozen so you can make a few batches to have on hand when the craving hits! Quiche can be served hot or cold, and reheats well too, so if you have leftovers (I admit I ate the whole quiche in one sitting!) you can refrigerate and save it for later.

Put on that apron and pearls and channel your inner Julia Child while you make this classic french dish with a mini twist!

Ingredients

Equipment

  • mini springform pan by Wilton (4 inches W x 2 inches H)

For the Crust

  • 8 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • dried beans for weighing down the pastry during baking

For the Filling

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sliced green onion
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced ham
  • 1/4 tablespoon butter cut into 5 pieces

Building the Quiche (recipe adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck)

*the dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours so plan ahead accordingly

Forming the Crust

  • you can make the crust using a pastry blender or by hand, but I since I have a food processor this is the method I prefer for making crust as it is quicker and less of a mess!
  • add the flour, sugar, and salt to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine
  • working quickly, cube the cold butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to food processor and pulse four times to start to combine the ingredients
  • add the cold water and quickly pulse the mixture until it starts to clump together, you do not want to over mix the dough
  • carefully scrape the dough out of the food processor (avoid the blade, it is quite sharp!) and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface and work into a almost smooth ball
  • this recipe makes enough dough for two small quiche using the mini Wilton spring-form pans so if you plan to only make one, split dough in half and wrap each ball in plastic wrap and a plastic bag, placing one in the freezer for later use and one in the fridge to firm up for at least two hours
  • preheat oven to 400 degrees when you are ready to start rolling out the dough
  • once the dough has firmed up, quickly roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick
    • do not worry if your dough is not a perfect circle, it will be slightly larger than the pan and you will trim it to perfection!
  • once your dough is rolled out, gently lift it to your greased springform pan and press it gently down into the bottom and up the sides of the pan
  • leaving about 1/4 inch of dough hanging over the sides of the pan, trim off the excess and push the 1/4 inch of dough over the edge of the pan to form a rim
  • evenly prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork
  • since the sides of the pan go straight up, a trick to keep the dough from falling in on itself is to place parchment paper inside the formed shell and fill it with dried beans
    • the beans will not cook while in the oven and you can reuse them, I keep mine in a bag labeled “beans for baking” so as to not confuse them when I reach in the pantry to cook beans in a soup!
  • bake the shell for 9 minutes, remove the parchment paper full of beans, prick bottom again with fork and bake for an additional 3 minutes
    • here we are partially baking the shell which helps prevent the crust from drying out when you add the quiche filling and bake it for additional time

Finishing the Dish

  • while the crust is baking you can prep your filling
  • in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, heavy cream, garlic powder and pepper until combined
  • stir the cheese and green onion into the egg mixture
  • once the pie crust is ready, distribute the diced ham evenly into the bottom
  • pour the egg mixture on top of the ham and make sure to only fill the pie crust 3/4 full
    • you may have some remaining mixture which you can put into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and make mini crust-less quiches for a snack!
  • evenly distribute the butter pieces on top of the egg mixture
  • place mini springform pan on a baking sheet and pop into the oven
  • drop the temperature of your oven to 375 and bake the quiche for 35 minutes
    • the quiche will be done when it has puffed up and browned on the top and a knife inserted will come out clean
    • once it starts to cool the quiche will lose its “puff”, but do not worry this is normal!
  • working carefully and wearing oven mitts or using a towel, carefully remove the springform pan from around the quiche
    • leaving the pan on the quiche while it cools will create a space for condensation to form and may result in a soggy crust
  • make yourself a cup of tea and enjoy!
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