Cheesy Crustless Quiche with Broccoli and Ham
Ham, broccoli, and cheese take center stage in this crustless quiche. It’s low-carb, gluten-free, and full of rich creamy goodness.
Broccoli, ham and cheddar enveloped in a silky custard are irresistible in this crustless quiche. But wait! There’s more. This quiche is low-carb, gluten-free, filling, luscious, and take only minutes to prepare!
Sorry, crust. You used to be my favorite part of quiche, but the rich and cheesy filling in this pie is the star event, and I didn’t even notice you were missing
Yes, you will forget all about the crust when you bite into the soft and ultra-creamy custard made with heavy cream and whole eggs and egg yolks. Grated cheddar, ham, and broccoli folded into the delicate custard add substance that is both pleasing and filling.
The Trick for Extra-Creamy Quiche
The trick to creating a tender and creamy filling is heavy cream (also called “heavy whipping cream” or just “whipping cream”) and a high proportion of egg yolks. That’s all there is to it.
I was tempted to load this with more vegetables, but decided to limit the filling ingredients in order to let the custard take center stage, where it belongs. Welcome to my Saturday brunch special!
Make It Ahead
Quiche is very forgiving, and this crustless version is no exception. You can make it ahead, refrigerate it for up to three days, or freeze it for up to one month.
To refrigerate and reheat the quiche:
- Let the baked quiche cool to room temperature, cover it with foil and refrigerate.
- To reheat it, take it from the fridge to the oven. Loosen the foil so it loosely covers the quiche. Bake at 350oF oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is hot all the way through.
To freeze and reheat the quiche:
- Let the baked quiche cool to room temperature and cover it with plastic wrap. Wrap it in double thickness of foil, label, and freeze for up to one month.
- To reheat it, remove the wrapping from the frozen quiche and loosely cover the top with foil. Bake at 350°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is hot all the way through.
The Difference Between Crustless Quiche and Frittatas
A frittata is like an omelet, with eggs and filling scrambled together and then baked or cooked on top of the stove in a skillet.
While a frittata consists of eggs and filling, a crustless quiche is made with eggs and milk or cream to make a custard. Cheese, various vegetables, and ham or bacon are added, and the filling is then baked in a casserole dish.
We’re eliminating the crust here, of course, but if you really wanted to, you could bake this filling in a fully baked pie crust of your choosing. The baking time is the same.
- Vegetable oil cooking spray (for the pan)
- 1 medium stalk broccoli, stem and crown
- 5 ounces ham steak, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar (about 7 ounces)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Prepare the oven and baking dish:
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch round ceramic baking dish or pie pan with vegetable oil. Have a baking sheet on hand.
Prepare the broccoli:
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cut a sliver off the bottom of the broccoli stem and peel the stem with a vegetable peeler. Slice the stem into 1/2 inch-thick, bite-size pieces. Cut the broccoli crown into small florets.
Cook the broccoli in the boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes, or until tender. Strain the broccoli to remove the water, and spread the broccoli over the bottom of the baking dish.
Add the ham and cheese to the baking dish:
Distribute the ham cubes over the broccoli. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese to sprinkle on top of the filled quiche. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the broccoli.
Make the custard:
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together. Whisk in the cream, salt, and pepper. Pour the cream mixture over the filling in the pan and sprinkle the top with the reserved cheese.
Bake the quiche:
Set the baking dish on the baking sheet and place it in the oven. Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F.
Bake the quiche until the top is golden and the center puffs, but it is still slightly wobbly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool the quiche:
Set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges. Quiche can be served warm or at room temperature.