With a record high of 114 degrees today, I’ve decided to forgo my late-morning walk and midday backyard gardening. With the air-conditioning cranked on high, I’m retreating to my kitchen instead. My friends think I’m crazy to bake on a scorcher like today, but as longer as I keep the A/C to oven temp ratio just so, it becomes a normal baking day just like any other – and the ideal opportunity to whip up something special like this brunch classic – with a hash brown twist.
Quiche with hash brown crust
A flavorful savory addition to any brunch buffet and a great way to use up leftover meat and veggies; Also tasty for dinner with a lightly dressed salad.
- 3 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed and blotted dry with paper towels
- 4 Tablespoons melted butter
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 cup meat such as bacon, ham, or chicken (I used sweet Italian sausage)
- 1 ½ cups vegetables, thawed if frozen (I used frozen artichoke hearts and spinach)
- 1 cup cheese, divided (I used mozzarella)
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 1 (rounded) Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a bowl, toss hash browns, butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper until combined. Press in the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate to form a crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust begins to turn golden brown and crisp along the edges. Remove from oven and gently press on crust to compact slightly (I use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup). Let cool for 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté meat until beginning to brown. Add vegetables and sauté until all moisture has evaporated and meat is cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes and then arrange on top of crust. Cover with half the cheese.
- In a bowl, beat eggs with half-and-half. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over meat and vegetables.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and continue baking for 10-15 minutes until top is set and egg mixture is slightly wet when pierced with a sharp knife (egg will continue to cook). Cool 5 minutes, slice and serve plain, with tomato sauce or guacamole.
I’m, by definition, a planner, but when it comes to this blog, I feel utterly clueless and disorganized. Let’s take last week, for example, which was a banner week for any food blogger, containing TWO perfect opportunities for very relevant posts. Tuesday, March 14, was Pi day, one of the baker’s high holy days when, had I been properly prepared, I might have been crimping, latticing, and baking with my brethren. Instead, I posted a recipe for chicken stew (not even a pot pie!). Then, St. Paddy’s day made an appearance, the ideal opportunity to post a recipe for traditional corned beef (learning too late it requires salt peter and a week to prepare), or if I was to pick lower-hanging fruit, anything mint, green or containing Irish Cream. Nope – missed that occasion as well.
The sad thing is that I have an ersatz posting calendar – I’m obviously underutilizing its potential. Now Easter is a mere two weeks away and I haven’t posted anything resembling a bunny or baby chick, haven’t focused on uses for surplus hard boiled eggs or incorporated Peeps into any of my desserts. Today’s recipe is a lime tart with almond crust. I guess it’s kinda Spring-like – fresh and pale chartruse, I suppose I can claim it’s a timely Easter Sunday dessert though I’m not sure what limes have to do with Easter. In truth, I wasn’t inspired by Spring or Easter, but something decidedly more practical – an overflowing bowl of homegrown limes languishing on my kitchen counter.
Gluten-Free Lime Tart with Almond Crust
An almond crust gives this Springtime tart the added benefit of being gluten-free.
- 2 ½ cups almond meal
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 28 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup lime juice
- 1 ½ Tablespoons grated lime zest
- Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond meal, sugar, ginger and salt. Add melted butter and stir until fully combined. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan and, using your fingers, pat crust firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan.
- Place the crust in the oven and par-bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. If the crust puffs up too much, you can carefully and gently pat it back into the pan with your fingers. Careful, though, it will be hot.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, Greek yogurt, lime juice, and lime zest. Stir until combined and pour into crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until tiny pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie. Do not brown. Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Garnish with whipped cream, shaved white chocolate or grated lime zest. Happy Easter!