Although quiche is considered a classic French dish, it actually originated in Germany in the medieval kingdom of Lotharingia, which the French later renamed “Lorraine“. The word “quiche” itself comes from the German word “kuchen“, meaning “cake“. Quiche is a savory dish consisting of a pastry crust filled with a flan-like mixture of eggs, milk (or cream), cheese, meat, seafood and/or vegetables. I love the simplicity and versatility of a quiche, which can typically be served hot or room temperature without losing flavor.
I’m a fan of quiche generally, but especially for brunch in the Springtime. The rustic combination of a flaky buttery crust and a flavorful, savory egg custard is true comfort food. This recipe is a longtime favorite of mine. Gruyere, a cheese I have always loved (I blame that on my deep love of French onion soup) is the star ingredient. In this quiche the flavorful cheese and salty cured meat compliment the earthy peppery arugula perfectly.
But don’t overlook the custard , in a quiche it’s quintessential. A quiche custard must have good flavor, nice consistency and depth to make the quiche a great one. If the custard is too simple or flavorless, the quiche will be bland and underwhelming. For this recipe I use a sallow removable bottom tart pan instead of a traditional deep dish pie pan, to better balance the crust, custard and filling ratio.
If you read my blog often often, you already know my thoughts on crust–it’s very important. I can’t stress it enough, a homemade one tastes substantially better. General rule of thumb with making a quiche: if you’re going to do it, don’t skimp, make the dough from scratch. For this recipe I use my simple pie dough and it never disappoints. The bonus, if you make it in a food processor, it only takes minutes to whip up.
For my egg filling, I rely heavily on my classical French training. Fat makes the filling rich and flavorful. To do this, I use a combination of heavy cream and half-n-half instead of whole milk. I have tinkered with the fat-content many times, but this combination gets me the silky, soft egg texture I want to pull it all together. Trust me, it’s worth it. Quiche is not a low-calorie dish, it is a delicious treat to be enjoyed, so if you’re going to indulge, make it worth it.
Gruyere, Ham And Arugula Quiche
- For the Quiche Crust:
- One recipe of my simple pie dough
- For the Quiche Filling:
- 1 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces black forest ham, finely chopped
- 1 cup, packed, baby arugula, roughly chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half-n-half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Dash of white pepper
- Dash of nutmeg
- Dash of dry mustard
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a 9-inch removable tart pan on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 If using homemade pie dough, allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before using. When the dough is ready, roll out the dough into a large 10-inch round or square (depending on what type of tart pan you’re using), about 1/8-inch thick. Place the dough into the pan and line the bottom and sides with the pastry. Use your hands to press down gently on the dough adhere. Set aside.
- Step 3 Assembling the Tart: Sprinkle cheese on the bottom of the tart followed by the ham and arugula. Make sure to spread out evenly.
- Step 4 In a small mixing bowl add the eggs, cream, half-n-half, salt, cayenne pepper white pepper, nutmeg, and dry mustard, whisk until well blended.
- Step 5 Pour the egg mixture into the filled tart pan.
- Step 6 Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow the tart to cool slightly before serving.