(Photo credit: Jerry Coyne)

Regular readers will know I recently had biologist and author Jerry Coyne to stay for part of his visit to New Zealand. He has written several posts on his trip, including a couple about his time here in Taumarunui.

While in New Zealand, Jerry came to love our savoury pies. It’s a surprise to me that savoury pies are rare in the US given the number of wonderful sweet pies there. Thus, a couple of the pies I made him got a mention in one of his posts. Some of his readers asked for the recipes for those pies, hence my diversion into recipes here.

Below is the recipe for Ham and Vegetable Quiche. I’ll do a separate post for the Bacon and Egg Pie I made Jerry.

Ham and Vegetable Quiche

This is a very easy and versatile recipe. Quiche normally requires pastry base/sides, but this one is self-basing. Greasing the dish with butter or margarine and including self-raising flour with the filling makes the base and sides firm enough without pastry. The flour pulls to the butter/margarine and combines with it to make a type of base. There is a basic recipe and you can change it and add to it to suit your own tastes or what you have available.

Basic Recipe

* 3 eggs
* 1¼ cups milk
* 1 onion, chopped
* about 1 cup grated cheddar cheese or similar (I usually use Edam and also more than one cup – probably more like 2 cups)
* ½ cup self-raising flour
* about 3 slices of ham, chopped (I always use at least 5 slices)
* 50 grams butter or margarine (2 oz or ½ stick)
* seasoning to taste

The base recipe will fill a 20cm/8 inch quiche dish, but my quiche dish is 26cm/10 inches and I always add a lot more ingredients to the base recipe. For the quiche I made Jerry I added a couple of chopped tomatoes and about a cup of frozen mixed veges (broccoli, beans, capsicum, cauliflower). The traditional mixed vege combination (peas, beans, and corn) also works well. I often add asparagus too.


1. Mix the eggs and milk together.
2. Grease the quiche dish with margarine or butter. Make sure every part of the sides and base are well covered.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients (meat, veges etc) except the flour.
4. Mix the flour into the dried ingredients, making sure they are well coated.
5. Add the eggs and milk to the dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Pour the mixture into the quiche dish.

Cooking Times

The base recipe takes about 30 minutes at 180° C/350° F. The one I made Jerry took about an hour to cook.

Basically, just keep an eye on it, and when it looks cooked, it’s cooked!


Other Combinations

You can have fun making your own combinations of ingredients to suit your own tastes. Here are some other combinations that I’ve used successfully.

Replace the ham with:

Cooked chicken
Smoked fish

or leave out meat altogether for a vegetarian option

Salmon and cream cheese

Spinach and feta

You can also put your combination of ingredients into single-serving size quiche dishes. Just remember that this will reduce the cooking time. Because of this, any frozen ingredients should be defrosted before use.

Please let me know if you have a go at this recipe, and how you got on. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have too!

I hope more USians get to know the enjoyment of savoury pies! They’re a staple of the New Zealand diet – no cafe can call itself that without several types of meat pie on the menu!



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