This Ham and Asparagus Quiche is terrific for a springtime brunch, Easter dinner, or even just a weeknight meal. Make it up to three days ahead and serve it room temperature or warmed up.
- 1 recipe pie dough, enough for one bottom crust (see Pâte Brisée recipe)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin 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 Roll out dough and fit into tart pan, then freeze: 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 Pre-bake tart crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pastry with aluminum foil, pressing into the corners and edges. Fill to the top with baking weights — sugar, dried beans, or rice.
Bake for 45 minutes. Lift sides of aluminum foil to remove pie weights from tart pan. Move pre-baked crust to a wire rack to cool while making filling. (See How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust for more details on this step.)
3 Cook shallots and asparagus: 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 Assemble quiche: 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.
5 Bake: Transfer to oven, and bake at 375°F until just set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before slicing.