They are the national symbol for Wales, they are loved by the French, the English pour thick béchamel sauce over them, us Irish use them sparingly and the Scotch stew them for hours. So since it is rugby season and the might leek is in abundance and at its best, here is a recipe I want to share with you.
I first saw this being made in a famous London restaurant run by the great Simon Hopkinson. He believed that the leek was the “softy of the onion family” and they made the finest quiche.
Please do not be put off by the word quiche, if made with due care and with the right ingredients it is one of the most wonderful things to eat and share around a dining table with family or friends. So give it a go and you will have a lot of happy campers in your home.
The secret of a good leek tart is to sweat the leeks in plenty of butter for as long as possible until they are completely soft and wilted….
For the leek tart filling you will need;
110g good Irish butter
8 leeks, trimmed, split lengthways, washed and thinly sliced (white part only)
Salt and pepper
4 egg yolks
2 tblsp of chopped fresh tarragon
One 20.5 cm / 8 inch pastry case
For the pastry;
110g of plain flour
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt
First make the pastry, add the butter to the flour and rub in. Add the egg yolk, the salt and enough water to form firm dough. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Roll out the pastry as thinly as possible and use to line a 20.5cm / 8 inch tart or flan tin. Prick the bottom with a fork, and bake blind in the oven for 15 minutes or until pale golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a large pan and add the leeks. Season with salt and pepper and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly soggy. This could take up to one hour. Cool.
Beat together the egg yolks, cream, tarragon and seasoning and add to the cooled leeks. Stir well. Pour into the pastry case and bake for 20 / 30 minutes or until set and golden brown.
Serve with a nice green salad and enjoy……..
Q. tip. add a few tablespoons of finely grated parmesan cheese to the custard mixture if you want a added dimention....