Recipe: Smoked Ham, Leek and Gruyere Quiche

by Courtney Sullivan

QuicheQuiche, that tasty omelet nestled inside a buttery pie crust, has origins in Germany and France.

It wasn't until the 1970s that quiche first turned up in American cookbooks. Since then, it's moved beyond the "real men don't eat quiche" snub to a dish accepted anytime and by anyone.

Recipes like this brought quiche to its rightful spot. A hint of dijon mustard enhances and draws out the subtle ham flavor. Honestly, could you go wrong with Gruyére cheese and leeks? I don't think so.

You'll find this dish easy to make and bursting with flavor. Best of all, you can cook it in advance and reheat so you have plenty of time for visiting and socializing!

Smoked Ham, Leek and Gruyére Quiche

Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 1 hour | Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

• 1 prepared, cooked pie crust
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 2 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
• salt and pepper
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
• 4 large eggs
• 3/4 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
• 4 ounces Gruyére or Swiss cheese, grated
• 4 ounce thinly sliced smoked deli ham

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Remove the leeks from heat the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, milk, mustard, 1/4 pepper, and nutmeg, if using. Stir in the leek mixture and Gruyére cheese.

Line the bottom and sides of the baked pie crust with the ham slices. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. A knife inserted in the center will come out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note

Do you have problems with huge bubbles and caved in sides when you pre-bake a pie shell? Here's an easy way to prevent it: blind baking the pie crust!

Prepare your favorite pie dough. Roll it out and place it in a pan, folding the top under for a ledge. With a fork punch holes in the bottom and around the sides.

Place a large piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Fill it with one pound of dried beans. Press the beans gently into the edges of the dough and bake at 375° for 20 minutes, until the crust just starts to brown. Pull it out of the oven and set it on the counter to cool. Gently remove the parchment paper and beans.

What's your favorite way to make quiche?