I love a good quiche, the mixture of cheese, eggs and ham just melts in your mouth. Although quiche is now a classic dish of French cuisine, quiche actually originated in Germany, in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, under German rule, and which the French later renamed Lorraine. The word ‘quiche’ is from the German ‘Kuchen’, meaning cake. The original Quiche Lorraine was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon. It was only later that cheese was added to the Quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have Quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust. Quiche became popular in England sometime after the Second World War, and in the U.S. during the 1950s. Quiche usually involves a pastry crust but Paula Deen introduced the concept of a hash brown crust and I have making it with hash browns ever since I saw her recipe. I make them in individual loaves and store them in the fridge, reheat in the microwave, for a delicious breakfast.
- 2 1/2 cups, shredded hash browns
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup of half-and-half
- 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
- 1/2 bunch or about 1/2 cup diced scallions
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 1-1&1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Quiche is essentially an custard made with milk and eggs poured into a pie crust and baked. You want just enough eggs to set the milk, but not so many that the quiche becomes rubbery. You want a bit of wobble in your quiche as it comes out of the oven. Wobble means silky, melt-away custard in every bite. The fool-proof part comes courtesy of the French. They are masters of the quiche and long-ago settled on the perfect formula of one part egg to two parts milk. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and a cup of milk is eight ounces, so a good rule of thumb is two eggs per cup of milk. I like to bump this up a bit to make a more substantial quiche and usually go with three eggs and 3/4 cup of half-and-half or two eggs to 1/2 cup of half-and-half. I use a mixture of Gruyère and Parmesan for cheese but you can also use cheddar, use between 1-2 cups of cheese. You can reserve some cheese for the bottom and the top of each loaf but I just usually just pour the whole mixture in, this recipe has lots of cheese already. I also use diced John Morrell ham to cut down on prep time.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. I use hash browns already cut and dried from the grocery, just because it is easy, but you can also cut fresh potatoes and dry them with paper towels, just as if you were making Latkes. Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. Spray the pan with Pam or use butter or oil to prevent sticking. Toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the loaf pan. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready, pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed. Take them out of the oven and remove from the pan while they are still hot or they may stick. This is an easy recipe, perfect for a family brunch or store the remainders in the fridge to eat later. I hope you will give it a try.
Foolproof Quiche: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-fool-proof-quiche-168459