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Ham quiche is a variation on the classic quiche recipe that involves baking custard made from eggs, cream and flour in a pie shell. The addition of cooked ham to the basic pie gives a savory, hearty flavor to the custard. The strong taste of the ham, if it is used in a sufficient quantity, can be accented with the addition of different melting cheeses. Additionally, vegetables can be added to turn the quiche into a filling and balanced meal. Ham quiche can be served in slices with a tangy salad or dressed with fresh herbs and vegetable slices.
The meat used in ham quiche can be nearly any variety of ham. Many recipes call for cooked or boiled ham that has been cubed, although thinly sliced ham or even minced ham can be used, depending on the desired texture of the final pie. The flavor of the ham can affect other elements that are added to the quiche, such as the amount of salt or the type of cheese. The dish also is popular as a use for leftover ham, because it will be well integrated into a moist dish, disguising any dryness that might have developed in the meat.
Cheese is often included in a ham quiche. The type of cheese called for tends to be Swiss, Gruyere or provolone. The important aspect is that it melts well and will not cause large cheese clump to form inside the egg custard. Some quiche recipes use mozzarella cheese or no cheese at all.
Two vegetables are frequently associated with ham quiche. The first is asparagus that has been cut into pieces, and the second is diced broccoli. Other vegetables, such as finely cubed potatoes, spinach and tomatoes, also can be found in some recipes.
The basic recipe for a ham quiche is not unlike the standard recipe. The ham, any vegetables and sometimes cheese are layered inside a pie shell. A mixture of eggs, cream and a thickener such as flour are poured over top of everything and then baked in an oven. As the egg cooks, it will begin to cause the ingredients to set in a custard contained by the pie shell.
Some quick versions of ham quiche have come into existence. One of these involves the traditional quiche filling with the ham and some mozzarella cheese added. It is placed in a pastry shell that has been pre-cooked and the pie is then heated in a microwave until the eggs have set. Other versions use small muffin tins to make individual quiches, and some healthy varieties use a crust made from whole grains or light cornbread.