Vidalia Onion and Ham Quiche ~ Vidalias are famous for being so mild they can be eaten raw, like an apple, but they’re wonderful cooked as well!
Vidalia onions were developed in Georgia during the Depression because they grew well in the local sandy soil. At first the farmers didn’t know what to make of the unusually sweet onions, but for obvious reasons they soon became popular and have since gained cult status. France and Italy aren’t the only ones who have ‘terroir’ and fancy legal protection for their special foods. Vidalia onions were officially branded and trademarked in the 1980s and by law they can only be grown in certain parts of Georgia where the low sulfur soil produces their distinctive sweetness.
If you can’t find Vidalia onions, you will definitely find ‘unofficial’ varieties at your local store, just look for ‘sweet onions’. And there are other well known sweet onions besides Vidalias; the Walla Walla, from Washington, and Hawaiian Maui onions are just a couple that come to mind.
First up, the crust. This one is Martha’s and it makes 2 crusts, so freeze the other half for later. I like to use tart pans with removable bottoms for quiches, not only does the finished product look better, they make the cutting easier and somehow everything just tastes better out of a fancy pan.
I use the crust unbaked, but if you like a crisper crust you can blind bake it briefly before adding the filling.
Crust: ~~~Martha Stewart
2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut in pieces
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup ice water, more if necessary
- Put the flour salt and in a processor and pulse to combine.
- Add the pieces of butter and process until grainy.
- While pulsing, add in the ice water, starting with 1/4 cup, just until the dough comes together.
- Empty the bowl of the processor onto a sheet of plastic wrap and bring it together into a dough.
- Cut the amount in half, shape into disks, and wrap each disk in plastic.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours before rolling out one of the disks to fit your pie or tart pan.
- Put the tart pan back in the refrigerator to keep it cold while you make the quiche filling.
Vidalia Onion and Ham Quiche
oven to 350
Crust for a 9″ round or 8×12 rectangle tart pan
2 Vidalia onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb Black Forest ham, sliced thin from the deli counter
fresh cracked pepper
fresh thyme leaves
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 8 oz container Marscapone cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, half n half, or 1/2 milk, 1/2 cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large shallow pan and saute the onions until they are softened and translucent. Season with salt, pepper and thyme leaves.
- Layer all the ham slices on top of each other and roll the whole pile up tightly. Slice the roll into thin ribbons. I like to cut the ham this way so it gets incorporated throughout the quiche, and the thin ribbons complement the onion slices. Add to the onions and mix well.
- In the bowl of a food processor put the eggs, cream, Marscapone and Parmesan cheeses. Whirl until thoroughly blended.
- Distribute the onion and ham mixture evenly onto the dough in your quiche pan.
- Pour the custard mix evenly over the top. Use as much of the custard as necessary to fill but not overfill your pan.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes until the quiche is browned and set and a toothpick comes out clean.
This quiche has a creamy texture and a subtle flavor. The little ribbons of onion and ham give it an interesting texture. It’s dressed up comfort food, great as an appetizer with a glass of wine, or a light lunch or dinner.