Leek and Gruyère tart

Leek and Gruyère tart

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Rich shortcrust pastry
extra flour, to dust

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
2 small leeks, white part only
30g butter
100g gruyere cheese
3 eggs
350ml double cream
salt
ground white pepper

Method

  1. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 3 mm thickness and use to line a 24 cm loose-based flan tin or flan ring set on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until firm to the touch. Wrap and chill any leftover pastry to use for repairs. Heat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the leeks lengthways in half with the root still intact (holding the leek together), then thinly slice into half-rings and discard the root end. Wash well in cold water to remove any grit, then drain well.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the leeks, cover with a damp cartouche and lid and sweat over a low heat until soft and slightly translucent (do not let them take on any colour). Drain the leeks or remove the lid and cartouche and allow the liquid to evaporate.
  4. Blind bake the pastry for 15–20 minutes, then remove the cartouche and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the pastry looks dry and feels sandy to the touch. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
  5. Put the eggs and cream into a small bowl and mix well with a fork. Pass this mixture through a sieve into a clean medium bowl. Grate the cheese.
  6. Add the sweated leeks and 85 g of the grated cheese to the egg and cream mixture. Taste and season with salt and white pepper.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the leeks and cheese into the pastry; they should half-fill the case. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the filling, making sure the case is as full as possible. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  8. Carefully transfer to a shelf in the lower third of the oven and bake the tart for 40–50 minutes until the custard is pale yellow colour and just a little soft in the centre. To check, give the tart a little shake; there should be no violent wobble in the centre. (An overcooked filling will rise up and feel springy to the touch.)
  9. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then remove the side of the tin, if using, and slide the tart onto a wire rack, or lift off the flan ring after transferring. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Variations

  • For a lighter filling, replace half the cream with half-fat crème fraîche or milk.

    Quiche Lorraine: Replace the leeks with 1 onion, diced and sweated as for the leeks, and add 75 g streaky bacon, diced and sautéed until golden, to the egg and cream mixture.

    Mustard and leek tart: Spread 1–1½ tablespoons wholegrain mustard over the base of the baked pastry case before adding the filling. Use Gruyère instead of Cheddar.

    Crab and chive tart: Omit the leeks and Gruyère and add 150 g white crab meat and ½–1 tablespoon chopped chives to the egg and cream mixture. Replace 100 ml of the double cream with crème fraîche and use 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk in place of the 3 eggs.

    Smoked haddock and watercress tart: Omit the leeks and Gruyère and add 200 g poached, pin-boned and flaked smoked haddock to the egg and cream mixture, with a large handful of blanched and refreshed baby watercress sprigs and 75 g grated Cheddar. Before cooking, lift some sprigs of watercress to the surface, for colour.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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