Country Ham and Cheese Tart

May 5, 2013 § 5 Comments

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If I were marooned on a desert island and could have only one food, it would be the egg. It would have to be free range and organic of course. Most of you reading this probably already know the facts on eggs, but I’ll say them for those who might not think there’s much of a difference.

You can not only taste the difference between pastured eggs and supermarket ones, you can actually see it. Free roaming hens lay eggs with a deep orange yolk compared to the pale yellow yolks of supermarket, factory raised chickens. Chickens need fresh air, sunshine, worms and grass. They turn that into nature’s perfect food, loaded with vitamins good for the heart, brain and eyes. And don’t worry about cholesterol. Remember the body needs it for proper cell function.

So I’m happy my chickens are laying again.They take a little break during the winter but now that the days are longer they’re in full production!  Eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner (usually not all on the same day!) Poached eggs, egg salad, deviled eggs, mayonnaise. I’m always thinking, what can I make that uses a lot of eggs?

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Here’s a good, easy recipe for using up some of those eggs: a delicious tart, or quiche, with thick chunks of country ham and some real milk and cream. Try to find non- homogenized milk and cream if you can. Or better yet, raw. Add a green salad and you’ll have a delicious and good for you meal.

Ingredients:

For crust:

1 1/2 cups flour, I use white spelt

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 egg

For filling:

about 1 1/2 cups country ham, cut into chunks ( I say country ham because it’s local, nitrate free and it comes in a thick slab)

1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups cream, light is ok if you must

1/2 cup milk

chives or parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make your crust by combining flour and salt in bowl. Add the butter, cut into bits, and incorporate into flour mixture with your fingertips until well blended and butter is the size of peas. Add the egg and stir with fork. Once it holds together shape into a ball and give it a few kneads. Roll out on floured board and then fit it  into a 9″ pie pan.

Spread the ham evenly over the crust and top with the grated cheese.

Beat together eggs, cream and milk and pour over the top.

Sprinkle with chives or place a sprig of parsley on top and then put in oven for about 50 minutes until puffed and golden. Test with toothpick.

If you want to eat it right away, try and wait about 15 minutes. It’ll be easier to cut and the flavors will have melded.

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Happy spring!

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