Quiche : Ham and Asparagus

Don't you just love a good quiche? This was well loved by the crowd at lunch today. The key to creamy, soft quiche is not over baking in the oven.

Using french rolling pin gives you a better control when making pie crust.

Use your thumb and forefinger to gently press design on the edge.

Sprinkle cheese, meat, and asparagus on a warm, baked crust.

Take quiche out of the oven when it is SLIGHTLY jiggly, like jello. The egg will continue to cook out of the oven.

8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 oz finely chopped ham
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

4 ounces Gruyère or Swiss cheese , grated (1/2 cup)
1 oz parmesan, grated
1 oz sharp cheddar, grated
6-8 blanched asparagus
1 9- inch partially baked pie shell (warm), baked until light golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes, see related recipe

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel–lined plate. Meanwhile, whisk all remaining ingredients except cheese in medium bowl.

2. Spread cheese, ham, bacon, and blanched asparagus evenly over bottom of warm pie shell and set shell on oven rack. Pour in custard mixture to 1/2-inch below crust rim. Bake until lightly golden brown and a knife blade inserted about one inch from the edge comes out clean, and center feels set but soft like gelatin, 32 to 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pie Crust Makes 1 8-9 inch crust
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
11 tablespoons unsalted butter , cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
4 - 5 tablespoons ice water

1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with some flour. cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough will not come together. Shape dough into two balls with your hands, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into 4-inch-wide disks. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

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