Thursday, October 22, 2009

Leek, Ham, and Cheese Quiche

I have a confession to make ... I've never made a quiche on my own before and I wasn't even sure if I liked leeks when I made this recipe.  I don't think quiches are very popular in the South ... or maybe it's just Texas.  I can't remember ever having a quiche when I was little or even noticing them in the store.  Maybe I was oblivious though.  Clearly, this recipe is not healthy, but it is delicious.  I stacked the deck against this recipe and made it ahead of time (on a night of cooking madness when I made 3 recipes), then tried to reheat it in the stove, only to get impatient, cut into it, and realize it wasn't fully heated.  One minute in the microwave and it was perfect for eating.  But, even after all of that abuse, it was amazingly good.  The perfect end to a long day at work and the first snow of the season (I'm not counting the flurries a week or two ago that could have been written off as imaginary) and the unhealthiness can almost be justified by the body design class today.

I found my pie tin was too small and I couldn't use all of the ham and I overflowed the cream mixture, so try to find a deep pie tin if you can.  I left off the onion, just because I don't like the texture, but feel free to add it back in!

Leek, Ham, and Cheese Quiche (from Smitten Kitchen) (from Le Pain Quotidien)


2 leeks, diced
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter, diced
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch pepper
1 1/2 cups diced ham (1/4 -inch dice; about 250g)
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese

1. Heat a large sauté pan over low heat. Sauté the leeks in the olive oil 30 to 40 minutes until caramelized, occasionally stirring. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg and mix it until a dough forms.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate and press to remove any air bubbles. (I was having difficulty rolling ... nothing was going right for me on this cooking night! ... and found the dough a little dry.  Then, I remembered when I helped Sophie make quiches that she just kind of spread it around the dish without this step, so I think you can cheat here.)  Crimp the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. While the quiche shell chills, mix the heavy cream and sour cream in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining three eggs. Add a pinch each nutmeg, salt and pepper and combine to form a batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Remove the quiche shell from the refrigerator and spread the leeks evenly over the base. Sprinkle the ham and then the cheese over the leeks. Pour in the batter and place the quiche in the oven.
6. Bake until puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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