“Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie

February 1, 2013:
Cook’s Country – February/March issue
“Impossible” Ham-and-Cheese Pie Quiche (we don’t eat pie in our house :D)

Bisquick popularized these pies more than 25 years ago, using one easy batter to make both filling and crust. After tasting a few, we knew it was possible to improve the “impossible””
~ Diane Unger

This dish was my first crack at an America’s Test Kitchen recipe. I had contemplated going in great guns with a French Style Chicken and Stuffing in a Pot recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated January/February issue, but Big Ring talked me out of it, thought I should start out small and work my way up (hmm, that may have had something to do with the last chicken I tried making which turned into a salmonella-poisoning-waiting-to-happen mess!) So, I opted for the quiche, and didn’t show Big Ring that it was actually called a pie (he hasn’t eaten pie in over 10 years…he used to have a major addiction!).

And yes, my friends, despite the write-up saying it was a fairly easy recipe, there were still curse words to be heard in the kitchen, and worries that I had doubled the salt content – EEK!!! But after all was said and done, the quiche was (a) not salty, (b) produced a long-lingering scrumdiliumptious scent wafting through the loft, and (c) had very few dishes to clean up post meal – huge win! And the Parmesan crust, that is just sheer, tasty brilliance!

I’ve since made the quiche three more times, and I find if I can grate the cheese ahead of time, prep work is about 20 minutes tops! I’ve added cheddar cheese instead of Gruyere once, which worked, but I think I like the Gruyere better, and another time I added mushrooms into the mix, which was freaking awesome!

This recipe is definitely a win!

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (use a rasp style grater or smallest holes on a box grater)
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)
4 ounces thickly sliced deli ham, chopped
4 scallions, minced (I’ve since learned scallions are the same as green onions!!!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie quiche plate with softened butter, then coat plate evenly with Parmesan.
2. Combine Gruyere, ham and scallions in a bowl. Sprinkle cheese-and-ham mixture evenly in bottom of prepared pie dish. Combine flour, baking powder, pepper and salt in now empty bowl. Whisk in half-and-half, eggs, melted butter, mustard and nutmeg until smooth. Slowly pour batter over cheese-and-ham mixture in pie quiche dish.
3. Bake until pie quiche is light golden brown and filling is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Slice into wedges. Serve warm.

Serves 8

Paired with a nice fresh salad = yum!

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