Ham & Cheese Quiche

Since we got our chickens last year at Scarlett Homestead, our consumption of eggs has probably increased a little, but truth be told, I’m not that big of a fan of eggs. The only type of egg I really crave, and very rarely at that, is in egg salad, eggs benedict, or a quiche. On any other day, in any other form, I will probably pass on the eggs. I can eat them, but I won’t pick them on my own. When I was pregnant they made me gag. Thankfully that passed. It’s a weird relationship we have, me and eggs.

But I’m thankful that we have farm fresh eggs every day, and I’m happy that we can share them with friends who want them. Like anything we eat, I like knowing where it came from, how it was raised and that the animal itself is loved, well cared for and respected. Our chickens are free range and they have a good little life. Since they were our first batch of chicks ever, they won the chicken lottery and get to spend their entire life at Scarlett, with no fears of being eaten or sold. They get to be our little friends for as long as they live. It’s a deal I cut with my husband when we bought them. These are mine. They have no idea just how lucky they are.

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In the future, as we grow our livestock business for public sale, I will stop naming them, bonding with them, or being involved at all outside of regular care. It’s a part of this life that I’m not sure I will ever get used to. I have a hard time coming to grips with the idea that our animals aren’t always going to be pets. Bleeding hearts of the world, unite. Sigh.

Anyway….we were going to make quiche! Let’s do it!

Ingredients:

1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
¼ of a yellow onion, diced
½ cup diced ham
⅛ of a cup of crumbled bacon
1/4 of a cup of chopped green onion
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon of paprika
1 pie crust

Instructions:

Grate the cheese, diced up onion, ham, green onion and crumble bacon. Fill your 9 inch pie plate with your pie crust, store bought or homemade. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Crack 6 eggs in a bowl, add in 3 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste and ¼ teaspoon of paprika. Whisk this together until totally combined.

Optional step – Blind bake the empty pie crust in the oven for 10 minutes using pie weights. This ensures the bottom of the crust will be totally baked when filled, and not be on the doughy side.

Preheat a small frying pan with ½ tablespoon of butter and saute the yellow onion until translucent. Add in the ham to fry for a minute or two until it’s just getting golden.

In a layering fashion, pour the yellow onions and ham on the bottom of the pie crust, evenly. Then add some grated cheese on top. Then layer the crumbled bacon and green onions, then more grated cheese. Pour the egg mixture slowly and evenly over the entire ingredients and finish off with the remainder of the cheese on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until it has puffed up and set and the top is bubbly and golden brown.

Here’s how it turns out:

Get all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go. If you have fresh bacon, that’s always best of course, but I just used the crumbled bacon you buy in a package this time. Scandalous, I know! Same with the ham – use what you have. Whether it’s cubed thick slices, or here I used fresh deli meat and chopped it up. It all works great!

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Run outside to your chicken coop and grab a few eggs, and then add all the wet ingredients together for your egg mixture.

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Stir it all up and it should look about like that.

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Then get your pie crust ready. I am using my favorite crust that I like to always have a stock of in my freezer at all times. This recipe makes 2 thick or 3 thin crusts and they work every single time. So light and flaky and everything a crust should be. Here’s the link to the recipe – it’s the Pioneer Woman crust.

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Put it in your pie plate. This is optional, but I like to blind bake my crusts with very heavy pies or quiche. It ensures the bottom of your pie is going to be cooked and flaky and not dense and doughy.

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Here’s another note: I suggest using pie weights to blind bake your crust with. I just ordered these new ones online and I didn’t pay attention at all. I thought these weights were strung together, as most weights are, for easy in and out. Nope. It’s a million little ceramic balls. It works, yes, but it was incredibly annoying when I pulled this out of the oven after 10 minutes and then had to coax them all out without cracking my crust. Oh, and then washing them after….don’t even ask. So I DO NOT recommend this kind to anyone, ever. Get the balls that are all attached – like the stainless steel chain kind. Don’t be like me. You’re welcome.

While the crust is baking, heat up a small frying pan with a little butter and saute your onions until translucent.

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I also throw my ham in there too for a minute or two. I like to get the edges a little golden. I think it tastes better.

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Then let’s start layering the good stuff. In goes the fried onions and ham, in an even layer.

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Then a little of the cheese.

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And in goes the bacon and green onions, and a little more cheese. Just in case.

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Finally we pour the egg mixture over the ingredients, slowly and evenly so it all gets in the cracks.

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The reason I layer and then pour the eggs at the end is that your ingredients all are evenly distributed this way. If you pour one big entire mixture in all at once, you may not find it as evenly spread.

Then of course, a little more cheese for the top. Put this into your preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

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When it comes out, it will be getting nice and golden and sizzly on the top and it will have puffed up a little. Tap the center of the quiche to make sure it’s firm and set and not ‘jiggly’.

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I love a quiche with a lot of ingredients inside of it. You really can’t go wrong. Throw in spinach, cooked potatoes, veggies, different types of cheese. This is just a combination I really love.

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It’s simple, homemade and a nice comfort food for a lazy weekend at home.

Most people call this quiche, and you’d be right to do so. At home we call it “Tic Tac Pie”, coined by Judah. Tic Tac is our rooster, and Judah’s very own chicken. He doesn’t know that roosters don’t make eggs like the girls, so he assumes Tic Tac laid the eggs just for him. I think it’s cute, so I haven’t corrected the ‘birds and bees’ of that yet. So if you ever hear Judah ask for Tic Tac Pie, this is what he wants.

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Tell me your favorite ingredients to put in your quiche! I love to try new combinations!

– The Homesteaders Wife

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