Spring is seriously in the air ’round here in southeast Michigan. Even as the days still carry a brisk chill, we know what’s around the corner, and let’s be real, we’re chompin’ at the bit for warm days and fresh air. As I daydream about Spring, I can’t help but crave brunch-type dishes. After all, Easter is just a few weeks away followed by Mom’s day, both holidays celebrated commonly with brunch buffets, am I right? It feels like the perfect time to share my quiche formula with you all! I stick with the same formula for the base but change up the ingredients to suit my mood and the season. Here I present Pea, Pancetta and Provolone Quiche, and honestly, it couldn’t be simpler!
First, I’m gonna get real about pie crust. I’ve made plenty of crusts from scratch, and while I find it oddly rewarding, it’s also real work. It requires effort and practice and time. By all means, if you are willing to make the effort, have had a little practice before, and can spare the time, make your own from scratch. Applause to you! However, if you feel no shame in a short cut, pick up a frozen crust. I do it ALL.THE.TIME. Honestly. I’d sooner bake my own bread or roll out my own pasta then make my own pie crust. Truth!
Pie crust aside, the only pre-cooking that needs to happen for this recipe is to crisp up the pancetta slices. I do this in a saute pan set over medium heat. It takes mere minutes to brown the slices into golden, crispy little flowers. Aren’t they just beautiful looking? Note, there is no shaping or styling required for the pancetta. Just buy thin slices and place them in a pan as is. They get all crinkly as they cook, giving them the unique texture and shape. Adorable!
Ok, so before we wrap this up, I have to do a little public service announcement for quiche. Ready?
Quiche is an AH-mazing option for feeding a crowd or hosting an event. Not only does one quiche easily make 8 wedges, but I’ve been known to get 10 wedges when necessary. Since the basic ingredients are eggs and half and half (or milk and heavy cream), it’s also relatively inexpensive. In fact, if all you want to add is cheddar cheese you’ve got yourself a quiche, my friends. So, while it may seem high-brow, it’s actually quite a humble dish.
One more tip…if you are serving quiche for a crowd, get a head start. The night before, whisk together the eggs, dairy, salt and pepper. Prep any cooked ingredients, in this case the pancetta, the day before, too. Then, about 1 hour before you want to serve the quiche, assemble everything in the shells and bake for about 45 minutes. Cool for another 15 before slicing. You can welcome your guests while the quiche cooks away in the oven, making you look like the ultimate, calm and collected host. Nice, eh??
So there you have it. Have I made the case for quiche? I hope so, ‘cuz I love this dish! And let me tell you, I’ve had lots of leftover quiche lately. 🙂
Quiche is classic for a reason, because it tastes so good and everyone loves it!
- 9 slices pancetta, about 3 ounces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- 3 eggs, large
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup half and half, or 1/2 cup each of whole milk and heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 9″ frozen pie shell
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Set a large saute pan over medium heat. Add pancetta slices in a single layer, working in batches if necessary. Cook until browned on one side, then flip and brown the second side, about 3-4 minutes total. Try to keep the slices in round shapes as they cook. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and repeat until at least 9 slices are cooked.
- Whisk together the egg yolk, eggs, half & half, salt and pepper. Set your pie shell on a sheet pan. Sprinkle half the shredded cheese and half the frozen peas around the bottom, then pour the egg mixture over the top. Scatter the remaining peas and cheese over the top.
- Arrange the pancetta slices around the edge of the quiche, plus one right in the middle.*
- Carefully transfer the sheet pan with the quiche to the oven. Bake until the center is set. I test for doneness by sticking the center with a toothpick and seeing if it comes out clean. It may come out slightly cheesy, which is ok, but you don’t want to see raw egg, about 40-45 minutes.
- Allow the quiche to cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Cut into 6-8 wedges and serve warm!
*NOTE: For a more pronounced presentation, don’t place the pancetta on the quiche before baking. Instead, place the quiche in the oven without the pancetta and set the timer for 25 minutes. At this stage, the egg should be more set. You can carefully arrange the pancetta slices around the top and they won’t sink as much as they do when added earlier. But this is merely for presentation, and isn’t crucial to the final taste.