Ham, Asparagus, and Mushroom Quiche

This quiche can be customized in any number of ways. Substitute cooked bacon for the ham or leave it out for a vegetarian version. Replace the asparagus with broccoli that has been briefly steamed and cooled. The type of cheese? Your choice.

1 refrigerated pie crust (or 9″ frozen deep dish crust)
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded, divided
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked diced ham
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 extra large eggs , lightly beaten
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Fit the refrigerated pie crust into a 10 inch deep dish pie pan, then dock the crust by perforating it with a fork at 1″ intervals. (Dock a frozen crust after thawing) If available, spray a second matching pie pan over the outer surface with cooking spray. Place a sheet of parchment into the pie shell, then nest the second pan into the crust. This will keep the pie crust firmly in place to prevent bulging.
3. Bake the pie crust for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, remove the inner pie pan and parchment, and immediately sprinkle the hot crust with half of the cheese. This layer of cheese will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 350° and place a baking sheet on the middle rack.
5. While the crust is baking, prepare the veggies: In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic just until fragrant. Do not brown. Add the asparagus and sauté a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook until both are slightly softened. Season with about half the salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then spread in the pie crust. Top with the diced ham.
6. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, flour, thyme and remaining salt and pepper. Whisk well until no lumps of flour are visible, then stir in half of the remaining cheese.
7. Gently pour the custard into the pie shell and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
8. Bake on the heated baking sheet for 45 minutes, or just until set. Keep an eye on the quiche, as you may need to shield the crust with foil if it seems to be browning too quickly.
9. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

Servings: 6