Gruyere, Ham And Arugula Quiche
Although quiche is considered a classic French dish, it actually originated in Germany in the medieval kingdom of Lotharingia, which the French later renamed “Lorraine“. The word “quiche” itself comes from the German word “kuchen“, meaning “cake“. Quiche is a savory dish consisting of a pastry crust filled with a flan-like mixture of eggs, milk (or cream), cheese, meat, seafood, and/or vegetables. I love the simplicity and versatility of a quiche, which can typically be served hot or at room temperature without losing flavor.
I’m a fan of quiche generally, but especially for brunch in the Springtime. The rustic combination of a flaky buttery crust and a flavorful, savory egg custard is true comfort food. This recipe is a longtime favorite of mine. Gruyere, a cheese I have always loved (I blame that on my deep love of French onion soup) is the star ingredient. In this quiche, the flavorful cheese and salty cured meat complement the earthy peppery arugula perfectly.
But don’t overlook the custard, in a quiche it’s quintessential. A quiche custard must have good flavor, nice consistency, and depth to make the quiche a great one. If the custard is too simple or flavorless, the quiche will be bland and underwhelming. For this recipe I use a sallow removable bottom tart pan instead of a traditional deep dish pie pan, to better balance the crust, custard, and filling ratio.
If you read my blog often, you already know my thoughts on crust–it’s very important. I can’t stress it enough, a homemade one tastes substantially better. The general rule of thumb with making a quiche: if you’re going to do it, don’t skimp, make the dough from scratch. For this recipe, I use my simple pie dough and it never disappoints. The bonus, if you make it in a food processor, it only takes minutes to whip up.
For my egg filling, I rely heavily on my classical French training. Fat makes the filling rich and flavorful. To do this, I use a combination of heavy cream and half-n-half instead of whole milk. I have tinkered with the fat content many times, but this combination gets me the silky, soft egg texture I want to pull it all together. Trust me, it’s worth it. Quiche is not a low-calorie dish, it is a delicious treat to be enjoyed, so if you’re going to indulge, make it worth it.