Brunch Recipe for a Crowd: Country Ham & Onion Quiche Baked in a Sheet Pan
Quiche is the quintessential spring dish, whether served as a nibble before the main event or as the shining star of a casual brunch. In this ham and onion version you’ll find a method for a quick and easy savory shortbread crust that’s so simple all you have to do is pat it directly into the pan.
The Key to Making Ham and Onion Quiche in a Sheet Pan
For the custard, I tripled my favorite onion and ham tart recipe and used a tip I learned from Thomas Keller to make sure there was goodness in every bite: Mix the batter in the blender to create lots and lots of bubbles to help suspend the filling ingredients instead of letting them sink to the bottom.
I’m excited to say that everything came together to create a sublime quiche — a beyond buttery crust, a creamy custard, and flavorful bursts of onion and ham. It definitely feeds a crowd, so make sure you have some hungry mouths to feed.
Quiche for a crowd with no muffin cups to clean? Amazing! This is just right for Sunday brunches or showers for babies and brides. When party planning, I look for spots to streamline. Nealy, the post’s original author, included an intriguing tip garnered from famed chef Thomas Keller: Use a blender to aerate the custard to encourage suspension of quiche fillings. It’s a clever tip, but I’ll try it when preparing a deeper egg pie.
For this shallow sheet pan version I’m sticking to a simple whisk. Country ham and vidalia onion are classic Southern ingredients. Bacon can surely be substituted, but since the ham needs no precooking, I’ll reach for it when party prepping. Just remember — country ham is quite salty, so small pieces are ideal.
–Patty, March 2018
For the crust:
- 2 1/2 cups
- 1/2 cup
grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups
(3 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon
For the filling:
- 1 cup
diced sweet onion, preferably Vidalia
- 1 cup
diced country ham (or cooked bacon or pancetta)
- 1 cup
grated Gruyère cheese
- 2 cups
- 1 cup
- 1 tablespoon
Ground white pepper, to taste
For serving (optional):
Make the crust: Place the flour, Parmesan, butter, salt, and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until the mixture just starts to resemble coarse cornmeal; there should still be some visible pieces of butter. Transfer the mixture to a 13x18-inch sheet pan and gently pat it evenly into the bottom (but not up the sides).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Bake until the crust is pale golden-brown in color, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool while making the filling.
Make the filling: Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle the onions, ham, and Gruyère evenly over the baked crust.
Place the cream, milk, eggs, salt, and white pepper in a blender and blend until frothy. Skim off and discard any foam from the top. Pour the custard evenly over the onion-ham-cheese mixture.
Bake the quiche until the custard is set, 33 to 38 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for a minimum of 15 minutes, or wait to serve at room temperature (Thomas Keller serves his chilled). Cut into 12 large rectangles or small squares; serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with sprig of Italian parsley for color if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.