For the Easter holiday, I thought I would adapt my mushroom quiche recipe into a Spring brunch dish, with asparagus and ham. It turned out great, my one note is to not add any salt as the ham brings enough salt to the party.
- 1/2 recipe pie dough (see Pâte Brisée recipe)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 10 ounces asparagus spears, cut on the diagonal into 1-inch long pieces
- 1/2 pound ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1 On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 10-by-1 1/2-inch round tart pan (with or without a removable bottom), pressing dough into corners. Transfer to freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
2 Preheat oven to 350°. Line pastry with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil, pressing into the corners and edges. Fill at least two-thirds with baking weights - dried beans, rice, or aluminum pie weights. Bake first for 15 minutes, remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Carefully remove parchment paper and weights. Poke the bottom of the pie pan with the tongs of a fork and return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until lightly golden. (Fork holes are for any air to escape.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool while making filling.
3 Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring, until translucent but not brown, about 1 minute. Add asparagus. Cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus are just cooked (al dente), slightly browned, firm, not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes.
4 Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Place tart pan on a baking sheet to catch any run-off there might be (especially if you are using a pan with a removable bottom.) Sprinkle half the cheese evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spread asparagus and ham over the cheese and then top with remaining cheese. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, and eggs. Season with fresh ground pepper. Pour over cheese. Transfer to oven, and bake until just set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before slicing.