Ham & Spinach Quiche

I decided to make Easter brunch this year. Typically I just like to eat cereal in the morning, but the re-birth inspired me to do something special. So, after careful consideration and interrogating my husband-to-be on possible brunch items, I decided on quiche, banana toffee cake, and fruit salad.

For the quiche, I went straight to my new cookbook, Dorie Greenspan's 'Around my French Table.' My table is not french, but it hopes to be some day. I started by making the crust, or pate brisee if you're fancy. I mixed the dough together, then rolled it up in aluminum foil to refrigerate for 3 hours (or 30 minutes if you are hungry and dying to eat as soon as possible, like myself).
After refrigerating, I rolled out the dough to a 12 inch diameter. I believe this is the step that would have benefitted from 3 hours of refrigeration. However, we both survived and Easter went on.  I placed the dough in a very buttered pie pan, then froze for approximately 42 minutes.

Now it is time to partially bake the crust. In order to maintain a flat crust, I lined it with parchment paper and filled it with ben's instant white rice. I came up with this idea on my own.

Just kidding. That idea was Dorie's. How do people come up with things like that??!  Bake it for about 20 minutes. Take out the parchment paper/rice, and bake for 3-5 more minutes.

For the filling, I did spinach, ham, and mushroom.  I started by sautéing some onions until golden brown.  I then added mushrooms, steamed spinach and chopped ham.

While the tart was cooling, I mixed the quiche filling. I modified Dorie's recipe slightly to add more heavy cream and cheese, to lighten it up a bit. I mixed 3 beaten eggs with heavy cream.  I placed a layer of mozzarella on the bottom of the tart, then the ham mixture, followed by more cheese.

I then poured the custard (I did not know this was called a custard. Dorie is one smart lady) over the soon-to-be quiche. Oh - I also added a lot of pepper. There can never be too much pepper.  I then baked in a 350 degree oven until the middle was set, about 35 minutes.

And...voila! It tasted great and was delicious 1 hour later as well.  Here is the full recipe:

Crust (or pate brisee):
 - 1 1/4 cups flour
 - 1 t. sugar
 - 1/2 t. salt
 - 6 T. very cold butter, preferably unsalted
 - 1 large egg
 - 1 t. ice water

With a food processor ( or your clean hands if you don't own a food processor, like me) mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter. Mix in the egg (beaten first), and 1 t. ice water. Knead the dough into a ball and refrigerate.

 - 1/2 chopped sweet onion
 - 3/4 c. chopped mushrooms
 - 5 oz. baby spinach, steamed and chopped
 - 1/2 lb chopped ham
 - 1 c. cheese of your choice. I always like mozzarella or cheddar.

 - 3 eggs, beaten
 - 1 c. heavy cream

So there you have it.  A good, solid quiche recipe you can make again and again for your own french table.

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