I've been home to Tennessee recently and it always makes me nostalgic. Growing up in the country at a slower pace...before fast food and the internet overtook our lives - things were just simpler and maybe even more savory. In my food memory, country ham always takes be back to Daddy's hams hanging in our smoke house. Having grown up with his home smoked hams has made me country ham Snob! If you have to purchase your ham, get Cifty Farms Country Ham. It's made in my home town of Paris, Tennessee and is completely wonderful. I've found it at all the local grocery stores (thank goodness)!!!
6 oz Country Ham
2 1/2 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Box Cherry Tomatoes
1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
1 c Half an Half
1 pinch Nutmeg
1 pinch Cinnamon
1 pinch Sugar
2 grinds of Salt
6 grinds of Pepper
1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
Fry your country ham but don't over cook it (if you cook more than a minute on each side - it can be tough). Drain then chop the ham into small pieces and set aside to cool. I quartered each cherry tomato - you could get away with halving them but I like my bites to have tiny pieces instead of large ones - you could also just cube a very large Big Boy tomato and it would be just fine.
Spray your baking dish (you can use ramekins, a large pie dish or a spring form pan) liberally with Bakers Secret (I swear by that stuff). Add your rolled pie crust to line your dish. I left a two inch over the edge drop. Add the country ham, then the tomato bits and top with 2 cups of the shredded cheddar.
Whip 8 eggs with a cup of heavy whipping cream and a cup of half and half. Spice with nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, salt and pepper. You need very little salt as the country ham is salty already. When your egg mix is completely blended, gently pour over into your shell. Take that extra crust edging and fold it to make a rim around your dish.
Always use a cookie sheet or baking sheet under your baking dish. The eggs will get really high while baking and you don't want overflow. Having to urgently clean your oven is not fun - trust me on this one! :)
Bake at 350* oven for approximately 1 hour. Start checking you quiche at 45 minutes and remove from the oven when a skewer inserts to a firm center and comes out clean. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and return to the oven until melted (just a minute or two).
Let the quiche sit for 5 minutes if using ramekins or a pie dish. Let sit 15 minutes if using a spring form pan, then release the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature. I pair this with garlic bread and a Caesar salad to give it a nice accompaniment.
If you have left overs - this also makes a delicious breakfast! The first recipe that I found for this dish said it took 3 hours to make! That's just crazy! I'm too busy to make a three hour dish this week so I took some liberties and made this a 15 minute prep time plus the hour to bake. Toss your salad while it's in the oven then pour something to relax the cook and sit down for a bit. A relaxed cook is always the BEST cook!
I loved being home and seeing my family. I hope you get the chance to try this soon and that your family enjoys this as much as we do!