Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bacon, Ham, and Spinach Quiche



In addition to the Cream Cheese and Lox over Pumpernickel Bread and Bagels recipe I posted yesterday, my sisters and I also made my mom this Bacon, Ham, and Spinach Quiche for Sunday's brunch.  I asked her what she wanted us to make for her birthday and her one request was a quiche.  Quiches are so delicious and something we don't have often.  So it was only appropriate that we make one for such a special occasion!

Personally, I enjoy quiche for the delicious layering of flavors.  The buttery and flaky crust underneath the light and fluffy egg, with a mixture of crumbled bacon, ham, and spinach, finished with a light sprinkling of cheese.  The combination of flavors in each bite is so powerful it leaves me eating the crumbs off my plate every time. 

Recipe Tips:
  • This quiche recipe can be made with a homemade tart crust I explain how to make below or a store bought crust.   
  • The next time I make this, I'll try doubling the crust recipe because it makes a thin tart crust, when I prefer something a little thicker.

To prepare your tart, start by cutting your butter up into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a small bowl to freeze for at least 30 minutes:


Prepare a small bowl of ice water:


In a food processor, combine your flour, salt, and sugar and pulse a few times to mix:



Add the chilled butter and pulse about 8 times until the butter breaks down into pea sized pieces:


Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, pulsing in between each addition:


Add a tablespoon at a time of water until the mixture resembles course meal:


If you pinch a little in between your fingers and it sticks together, your dough is ready to be shaped:

Lightly flour a clean surface and press your dough together into a ball, making sure not to over handle it:


Your dough should have little bits of butter in it, which will create your flaky crust.  Lightly flour the surface of your ball of dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour:


Remove your dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the surface with a little flour and roll it out into a 1/8 inch thick circle:


Using a spatula, gently lift the dough from the surface:


Fold your dough in half and place it along half of your tart pan:



Unfold the second half, making sure your dough covers your pan completely:


Pinch the dough against your tart pan:


Roll your rolling pin along the edge of your pan to cut the excess dough:


Peel the dough back to remove:


Transfer to your freezer and allow to chill for 30 minutes:



Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Remove your pan from the freezer and cover with aluminum foil, wax paper, or parchment paper.  Fill 2/3 of the pan with dry beans or rice to use as a weight and bake for 15 minutes:


Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Remove the foil and beans and prick with a fork all over the surface:


Return your tart to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until your tart appears just golden:



While your tart is baking you can prepare the filling.  Begin by whisking your eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl:


Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large pan.  Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.  Then chop the bacon and then the ham into small pieces:


Rinse and roughly chop your spinach:


Place the tart pan over a cookie sheet and pour the egg mixture into your tart.  Then sprinkle the bacon, ham, spinach, and cheese over the surface:


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until your quiche appears puffed and pale golden brown. 



Remove your pan from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes so ingredients can set.  Remove your tart from the pan and serve!


Bacon, Ham, and Spinach Quiche
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes: 1, 11 inch quiche
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients
Tart Crust (homemade or store bought)
8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces
1/2 cup chopped deli ham
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan or aziago cheese
3 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions
To prepare your tart, start by cutting your butter up into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a small bowl to freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Prepare a small bowl of ice water and set aside.  In a food processor, combine your flour, salt, and sugar and pulse a few times to mix.  Add the chilled butter and pulse about 8 times until the butter breaks down into pea sized pieces.  Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, pulsing in between each addition until the mixture resembles course meal.  If you pinch a little in between your fingers and it sticks together, your dough is ready to be shaped, otherwise continue adding water until it reaches the desired consistency.  Once ready, lightly flour a clean surface and press your dough together into a ball, making sure not to over handle it.  Your dough should have little bits of butter in it, which will create your flaky crust.  Lightly flour the surface of your ball of dough, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Remove your dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the surface with a little flour and roll it out into a 1/8 inch thick circle.  Using a spatula, gently lift the dough from the surface because it will stick after rolling it out.  Fold your dough in half and place it along half of your tart pan.  Unfold the second half, making sure your dough covers your pan completely.  Pinch the dough against your tart pan.  Then roll your rolling pin along the edge of your pan to cut the excess dough and peel the dough back to remove it.  Transfer to your freezer and allow to chill for 30 minutes

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Remove your pan from the freezer and cover with aluminum foil, wax paper, or parchment paper.  Fill 2/3 of the pan with dry beans or rice to use as a weight and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Then remove the foil and beans and prick with a fork all over the surface.  Return your tart to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until your tart appears just golden.

While your tart is baking you can prepare the filling.  Begin by whisking your eggs, cream, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large pan and transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.  Then chop the bacon and then the ham into small pieces.  Rinse and roughly chop your spinach.  Place the tart pan over a cookie sheet and pour the egg mixture into your tart.  Then sprinkle the bacon, ham, spinach, and cheese over the surface.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until your quiche appears puffed and pale golden brown.  Remove your pan from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes so the ingredients can set.  Remove your tart from the pan and serve!
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