Best Ham and Cheese Quiche Recipe with Cheese Cracker Crust

Bake

Ham Quiche With a Cheese Cracker Crust

January 21, 2021
1 Rating
Photo by Ty Mecham Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson Food Stylist: Kate Buckens
Author Notes

Quiche can be filled with any number of fridge scraps—chopped or torn raw, roasted, or thawed frozen vegetables, bits of grated or crumbled cheese, caramelized onions, cooked meat, to name just a few. Though there are infinite quiche-possibilities, I find myself returning to a classic combo—ham and cheese—time and time again. Salty, melt-in-the-mouth ham, and sharp cheese swim around in a creamy custard under a buttery crust, just give me a crunchy salad on the side and I’m good to go for any meal.

While this ham and cheese quiche is more formal recipe than choose-your-own adventure, you can still be creative to suit your preferences. Starting with the crust, which is cheesy, tangy, and orange-tinged thanks to ground Cheez-Its(!). Since the crust comes together in the food processor, the extra step of grinding the crackers takes no time at all. But say you weren’t a Cheez-It fan or happen not to have any—you could omit the crackers and add an extra 1/4 cup of flour to the dough. As for the ham: I’m a Jersey girl, so any time I can use Taylor ham (a Spam-like breakfast meat, also known as Tayor’s Pork Roll), I absolutely go for it, and you should too. If you’re not in the northeast, however, Taylor ham may be challenging to locate. Any pre-cooked ham or even bacon will do just as well in this quiche. And finally, the cheese. A classic ham and cheese quiche will likely feature American Swiss; I prefer Gruyère, an earthier, sharper Swiss, so I grate in a couple ounces of both. But if you’re a cheddar, Gouda, or Monterey Jack fan, go with your gut. But definitely don’t skip the mustard in the filling—though not super noticeable thanks to cream, cheese, and eggs in the custard, the subtle tang of Dijon makes for a quiche that feels right out of a Parisian cafe. —Rebecca Firkser

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • makes 1 quiche
Ingredients
  • Cheez-It Crust
  • 2 ounces (56 grams) cheese crackers, such as Cheez-Its (about 50 crackers)
  • 1 3/4 cups (224 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting surface
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus up to 2 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling
  • 6 ounces Taylor ham (or another pre-cooked ham)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Gruyère
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. For the crust: Add the cheese crackers to a food processor and pulse until you have a very fine meal. Add the flour, sugar, and a big pinch of kosher salt to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Mix together the vinegar and 1/4 cup of water and drizzle into the flour mixture. Pulse 4 times. Open the food processor and drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and pulse twice to combine. If it looks crumbly but holds together when you pick it up and squeeze, you’re ready to go; don’t be afraid to drizzle in an extra tablespoon of water if it's too dry.
  2. Dump the dough onto a work surface and gently pat it together into a cohesive ball. Wrap the dough in plastic film (a washable zip-top bag or reusable container works too!), then gently flatten into a 1/2-inch disk. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough at this stage for up to 6 months, then defrost in the fridge overnight before rolling it out.
  3. When you’re ready to make the quiche, take the dough out of the fridge to soften slightly for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment into a round, about 14 inches in diameter. Hang onto that piece of parchment!
  4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Gently but firmly press it into the edges of the plate to ensure it is tightly fitted. This dough is delicate and may crack while you’re pressing it in—simply mold the dough back together wherever it cracks (I promise it’ll still be delicious). You should have about a 1-inch overhang; tuck the overhang underneath itself and crimp the edges in whatever manner pleases you. Place the crust in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 350ºF and line the interior of the chilled crust with the parchment round. Fill the crust with pie weights or dried beans, all the way up to the crimped section. Place the pie dish on a sheet pan and bake the crust until it just begins to take on color, 25 to 35 minutes. Pull the pan from the oven and carefully remove pie weights and parchment. Continue baking until even more golden, but not brown, about 10 minutes. (If you find the crust cracks at all, make a paste of a teaspoon of flour and a few drops of water, then smear into the crack like spackle.) Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the bottom of the crust. Let the crust continue to cool on the sheet pan while you make the filling.
  6. For the filling: Reduce the oven heat to 325ºF. If unsliced, slice the Taylor ham into 1/4-inch rounds. Make one 1/2-inch cut on the top and two sides of each slice of ham. Cook the Taylor ham in a nonstick skillet until starting to brown and crisp, about 4 minutes; If you can’t fit all the slices of Taylor ham in the pan, do them in batches. (If using another cured ham or bacon, crisp it according to the package directions.) Transfer to a wire rack. Once cooled, crumble into bite-sized pieces.
  7. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in the mustard, milk, cream, salt, and lots of freshly ground pepper until completely combined. Stir in remaining cheese.
  8. Scatter the crisped ham over the cheese-covered crust. To fill the crust, it might be easiest to transfer the custard to a liquid measuring cup, then open the oven and place the sheet pan on a pulled out oven grate. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the crust. Bake the quiche until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set around the outside and just set in the center, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before topping with chives and slicing in—it will continue to set as it cools, plus the filling will taste better.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. Her writing has appeared in TASTE, The Strategist, Eater, and Bon Appetit's Healthyish and Basically. She contributed recipes and words to the book "Breakfast: The Most Important Book About the Best Meal of the Day." Once upon a time, she studied theatre design and art history at Smith College, so if you need a last-minute avocado costume or want to talk about Wayne Thiebaud's cakes, she's your girl. You can follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.

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