Leek tart

This recipe actually comes from Mike, who made it last week after searching for something to make with leeks. All I could think of was potato soup, but this French tart is much better suited for spring, and so delicious.

Leek tart
from the Organic Cookbook

4 tablespoons butter
4 leeks, finely sliced (make sure they are well-rinsed!)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup creme fraiche (or you could use heavy cream)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Pastry shell:
1 1/3 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water

Start by making the pastry crust — put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor you could do this by hand with a pastry cutter). Pulse until you get fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk. Pulse until the pastry comes together, adding water a little bit at a time. Dump out the pastry on a floured surface and knead it into a round.

Roll out the pastry to 1/8-inch thickness and then press it into a tart pan. The closest thing we have is a springform pan, which works fine, or you could even use a pie pan. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and then fill it with dry beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for another 10 minutes until golden brown.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat. While that’s adjusting, you can make the filling. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook them until they’re soft and wilted, 20-30 minutes. Set them aside to cool. Mike says it seems like you will have way too many leeks for the tart, but they end up cooking down and fitting.

Beat the eggs, creme fraiche, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the leeks to the mixture. Pour this into the baked pastry shell. Place the tart on the preheated baking sheet and bake until the tart is golden, 30 minutes. If you jiggle it a little you should be able to tell if the filling has firmed up.

The great thing about these quiche-like tarts is that you can eat them hot or cold. A slice of this served with a salad reminds me so much of La Mie lunches in Des Moines, which reminds me of pretty pastries sitting in the window. Good times!

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