Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Non-Easter Easter Ham and Broccoli Quiche

It doesn’t look like Easter. It doesn’t feel like Easter. It’s gray, rainy, and 40 degrees, and I'm crabby about it.  I just got back from a Florida vacation where it was sunny and in the 80’s all the time and my daughter gave me a cold down there. So, yes, I’m more than a little crabby, not to mention un-ambitious, and in no mood to cook up a festive, spring meal.

When it gets to really be rug-cutting time, I know I’ll pull my socks up and get on with it, and this is what I’ll whip up for an Easter brunch – a ham and broccoli quiche. It’s traditional, it’s classic and it just might be the ticket to put me in a spring-like mood.

I love quiche. It’s a lot like a pizza to me. It can easily handle a lot of variations, lots of different combinations. And if you take the cheater’s way out (as I often do) and use refrigerated pie dough, it’s a snap to make. (Although I have gotten much better at making pastry, I’m proud to say.) And since you can serve it warm or at room temperature, it’s a perfect company dish.

Once I hosted a baby shower for a friend and the menu was quiche, fruit salad and cheesecake. My daughter (the same one who gave me the $^#&*# cold) helped me with the quiche assembly line. We made eight quiches, four different kinds: Ham and broccoli, bacon and onion, spinach and shrimp, asparagus and ham, all with a healthy helping of cheese. First we placed a layer of shredded cheese in the pastry–lined pans, then the meat and vegetable filling, then more cheese, then poured the custard up to the edge of the pie. (Baking eight pies at once was something I’d never done before and convinced me that catering was not for me.) Everything went off without a hitch and everyone wanted to sample every quiche. Only crumbs left in the pans.

I follow the basic formula for quiche I started using years ago from a cookbook I bought from a New Hampshire restaurant called Peter Christian’s that is now defunct. I liked it because it was just a formula rather than a follow-by-the-letter recipe. I also liked the addition of sherry to the custard. The only things that are constant are the eggs, half-and-half, cheese and onions. And even those are variable to a degree. You can enrich the quiche with cream or using a variety of cheeses.

So this as Easter-y as I’m getting this year. I really had the best intentions of making an Easter Pie. If the spirit moves me later this evening, maybe . . . just maybe . . . . .

In the meantime, I hope you're in a sunnier place -- or at least a sunnier mood -- and have a blessed Easter with family and friends.

Basic Recipe for a Quiche
Serves 8

Pastry for one-crust pie
4 eggs
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup sherry
Dashes each of freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg and dash of cayenne pepper
4 cups grated cheese, any variety
½ cup chopped scallions
1 cup cooked and cooled vegetable of choice
1 cup cooked and cooled meat of choice
(or use 2 cups of a veggie variety)

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Place pastry in pie pan and flute edges any pretty way you like.

• Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese and the scallions in the bottom of the crust. Cover the cheese and onions evenly with the veggies and/or meat of your choice. Then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the veggie-meat mixture.

• To make custard, combine the eggs, half-and-half, sherry and seasonings in a bowl with a whisk and blend well.

• Pour the custard over the cheese-veggie-meat mixture to within ¼ inch of the top of the crust.

• Bake at 425 for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake another 45 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and is slightly puffed.

• Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting. Serve either warm or at room temperature; refrigerate any leftovers if you have them.

17 comments:

  1. I actually love a quiche for Easter - all those eggs - rebirth! I know what you mean about spring - spring? Really? Is it spring somewhere? I need a trip to FL. Meanwhile, a quiche would suit me fine.

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  2. I love quiche... I love broccoli! This would be very popular in our household! Thanks for sharing :) Happy Easter!

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  3. I love quiche at any time! This looks so darn good.

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  4. Oh no! The whole world seems to have a cold just now, me included - achooo! Your lovely quiche is like a plate full of sunshine, so even the photo has improved my mood. The touch of sherry is unusual - can't wait to try! Happy Easter!

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  5. I'd much rather have a slice of your quiche than the Easter ham I'll pop in the oven this afternoon. Hope you feel better soon! Happy Easter~

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  6. I haven't made quiche for so long and this lovely egg dish has reminded me to get up and make one! I had saved it on my Google Reader because it is so eye-catchingly beautiful . . . so golden! YUM!

    I wanted to stop by and say Happy Easter and I hope the weather is more cooperative than it has been! Besides all those little kiddies need to have an egg hunt outside, don't they?

    I hope the asparagus in browned butter is delightful today. I know that we really enjoyed the recipe. We're having a very low key Easter since it's just my husband and me, and I can't get all worked up in the kitchen for that when I've got term papers to grade by tomorrow! (I hate it when Easter is so late in the semester - - bet you don't miss teaching!)

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  7. That looks wonderful to me. I am still learning American Easter traditions and didn't know that quiche was one of them. What a splendid idea. I have a grandmother who gives me handmade pie crust for my freezer, so I have several on hand. I may give this recipe a go.

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  8. Its 4000 degrees here. I've just bottled you some 'summer' and sent it your way. Once received, apply thrice daily until crabbiness subsides.

    Either that or just eat loads of this awesome quiche :)

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  9. Quiche is one of my favourite ways with eggs. I hope you feel better soon!!!

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  10. Love quiche! It is the best thing to start if you're an early riser (like me) before the rest of the family awakens. It was overcast today but we filled it with good fine, games, and great wine! :)

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  11. I made a quiche for the first time a few months ago and fell in love with how easy yet sophisticated they are. This would be a perfect one for my book club meeting. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. It definitely hasn't felt like Easter season to me either, but thankfully quiche is truly an anytime food! Delicious.

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  13. Isn't it amazing how the weather can really affect your mood. If the day is sunny, I pop out of bed and I'm ready to get on with the day. If it is cloudy & drizzly, I become a total slug. Are you over the cold yet?
    Your quiche is gorgeous! I really love quiche in all it's forms. Love this recipe! Come on sun & warm weather!!

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  14. wonderful quiche hope it warms up for you :)

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  15. this is gorgeous! I love it and cant wait to try it!

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  16. Rosemary-You're right about the 80+ degree weather here in Florida. I'm in S.Florida on the beaches, and it's been like that for over a month now. Summer is here, but hardly any rain.
    Hope you feel better with your cold.

    I love your quiche, your recipe is just the perfect one that all the additions could be added. Meats, and vegetable, or both. I must say the sherry really adds a nice touch.

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  17. I love a good quiche and this looks fab! Thanks so much for linking up to my breakfast blog hop! Pinned :-)

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