We had a snow day here on the East Coast, and what do us g&b girls like to do on a snow day? Potter in the kitchen! So when the rest of the town was scrambling to get their emergency supplies at the store, we were scouring through our pantries and fridges to see what needed eating. We always love a quiche for lunch or a simple dinner, and today this Ham & Leek Quiche was the result of our fridge forage.
You can make the crust by hand, which isn’t as complicated as you think it might be, or you can buy one at the store. If you buy a pie crust in the US, just check there’s no sugar in it as a sweet crust doesn’t go well with a savory tart. We like the Oranoque Orchards pie crusts, or otherwise any puff pastry will do the trick too.
The filling can be adapted to suit your tastes or the contents of your fridge! Asparagus, onions, bacon, broccoli and salmon are all favorites. There really aren’t any rules, so let your inner chef take the lead!
Ingredients for one 10-inch (25 cm) quiche:
1-1/2 cups (200 g) flour
1/2 cup (100 g) cold butter, cut into small squares
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon water (add it bit by bit, you may not need it all)
Ham & Leek Filling:
1 leek, pale green & white parts, washed well and sliced
3-1/2oz. (100 g) ham, cut into small cubes
1-1/2 cups (350 ml) half and half, or a mixture of cream and milk
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
If you’re making the crust from scratch, prepare the quiche pan. We used a traditional 10-inch (25 cm) quiche or tart pan with a removable base, but you can use a ceramic or glass pan too. Lightly grease the pan with a teaspoon of soft butter and wipe away the excess.
Put the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter cubes and rub with your fingers until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Add the water, teaspoon by teaspoon, and lightly press the dough together with your hands, you may not need all the water. Try not to knead it, you want to keep some flecks of butter for a flaky crust. At this stage it can still be a crumbly mixture, which will make it easier to press into a quiche pan, and saves you having to roll it out. Dump the crumbly dough into the prepared quiche pan and using your fingers, press down the dough from the center out to the edges. It should be roughly 1/8-inch (3-4 mm) thick. Trim off any excess dough hanging over the edge with a knife. Place in the fridge for at least 15 mins. This will help prevent the dough from shrinking when it bakes.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). When the dough has rested, poke a fork into it 8-10 times and lay a round of parchment paper over the dough. Fill the paper with dry rice or beans and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven, carefully remove the rice or beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Whilst it is baking, you can prepare the filling.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and sauté the leeks over medium heat until translucent. Chop the ham into small squares. Spread the ham and leeks over the bottom of the pre-baked quiche crust.
Mix the half and half, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the ham and leek mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes* until the liquid has set as is a light golden brown. Allow to cool at least ten minutes before cutting into it and serve with a crisp green salad.
*If you are using a quiche pan with a removable base, we recommend wrapping the bottom of the tin with foil. Sometimes the shape of these metal pans gets distorted in the dishwasher, causing some of the cream mixture to leak out, creating a very messy oven. Been there, done that!