Did you know that French cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating? Just ask Claudine Pépin, the daughter of beloved chef Jacques Pépin’s. This dynamic father-daughter duo just released a cookbook entitled Kids Cook French that features simple classic dishes that parents can make together with their kids. Read on below for an easy recipe for Ham and Leek Quiche from this new book that even boasts illustrations by Jacques Pépin himself.
1 leek, washed and chopped (about . cups [134 g] raw)
4 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
4 ounces (115 g) premium deli ham, diced (about 1 cup)
4 ounces (115 g) Swiss cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 (295 ml) cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet (10 x 10 inches [25 x 25 cm]) unsweetened puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Cut the leek in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly between each of the leaves. Cut off the top part of the leek that is dark green and leathery. (Lighter-green leaves are perfectly tender and delicious). Cut off the bottom, including the roots and about 6 mm of the white stem. Chop medium to fine, about 1 cm.
3. Saute the leeks with butter and a pinch of salt on medium-low heat, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. You may need to add a little water to prevent browning. Set aside to cool.
4. Dice the ham and grate the cheese.
5. Whisk together the 3 eggs and the 2 egg yolks. After they’re well beaten, add the cream, salt, and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese and the cooked leeks. Butter the glass pie pan with 1 to 2 teaspoons of butter.
6. Roll the 10 x 10-inch (25 x 25 cm) puff pastry to 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm), about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Gently press the rolled puff pastry into the buttered pie pan.
7. Use a paring knife to trim the hanging corners/edges. Press the scrap pieces onto the pastry in the pan to fill in any gaps. Prick the bottom of the dough evenly with a fork in 8 to 10 places.
8. Fill the pie shell with the egg, cream, cheese, and leek mixture, then evenly distribute the ham. Stir gently for even distribution.
9. Place the quiche on a sheet tray and into the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes on 350°F (180°C), then lower the heat to 300°F (150°C) and bake for 1 hour, until the top is slightly browned, puffed in the middle, and a cake tester comes out clean. The crust should be thoroughly browned across the bottom.
10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
Do your kids like quiche? Leave us a comment below.
This recipe comes to us courtesy of the new book, KIDS COOK FRENCH [Quarry Books, February 2015, $21.99 US / $23.99 CAN] by Jacques Pépin’s daughter, Claudine Pépin. This book is a fun, interactive cookbook for both parents and kids that introduces them to the art and joy of cooking. Finding inspiration from the very first page, parents will soon be helping kids to learn how to make their own meals while learning better eating habits and embracing the importance of French culture. Buy the book at Amazon.com.