Saturday, 9 November 2013

What a Tart

So I thought it was about time I blogged something savoury because all I seem to be doing at the moment is cakebread and pudding, though that's a pretty accurate representation of my current diet...

I made this in the summer holidays for my sister, who likes neither leeks nor anything that even vaguely resembles a quiche, BUT when I gave her this she ate it all and went back for seconds. And when Rebecca ate it yesterday she exclaimed 'I don't even like leeks!' as she also went back for seconds. It's an excellent crowd pleaser, very easy to make, and it looks awesome.

Also Dad's lent me his fancy camera, so I can now take food photographs again without having to beg Zosia to leave the library and trek all the way over just so I can take a picture of my soup/cake/etc, which is just great for everyone (except maybe my Dad's nerves).

- 175g plain flour (I use 100g of white and 75g of wholemeal)
- 110g butter, cubed
- ½tsp salt
- sprinkle of black pepper
- ½tsp thyme leaves
- 2-3tbsp cold water

- 25g butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 large leek, washed and chopped
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 200ml double cream
- 1 egg, beaten
- 125g soft goat's cheese, crumbled
- 1tsp French mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1tsp thyme leaves, plus a few extra sprigs for decoration

1. First, make your pastry. Using the tips of your fingers, rub together the flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme, then add the water a little at a time. You only need enough to bring everything together into a dough, so be careful not to over-do it.
2. Wrap the dough in clingfilm, and put it in the fridge while you get started on your filling.
3. Put the butter, onions, leek and garlic into a pan, then turn the heat up and add the sugar. Make sure you stir fairly often so it doesn't stick and burn, but there's not much else to it! Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until everything's lovely and caramelised, then take off the heat and put to one side. At this point you should also turn on your oven, and set it to 180°C.
4. Take your pastry out of the fridge, lightly flour your worktop and roll the pastry out to about 5mm thick. Then use your rolling pin/bottle to drape it into your quiche dish (if you don't have a quiche dish, you can use the lid of a casserole dish or anything similar - just make sure it can go in the oven).
5. Gently ease the pastry to fit properly in the dish, then grab a fork and prick lots of holes in the bottom of the pastry (which is a great alternative to baking beans) before blind baking in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
6. While your pastry case is baking, you can get the filling sorted out. Grab a large measuring jug and measure out the cream, then add the egg, mustard and goat's cheese and mix it all together (alternatively, you could put a third of the goat's cheese to one side and sprinkle it over the top before baking). Tip in the leek mixture, the salt and pepper and half the thyme leaves and stir together.
7. Once the pastry is out of the oven, trim the edges and tip in the filling. Sprinkle the goats cheese (if using this method) and the rest of the thyme leaves on top, then put back in the oven for 30 minutes.

8. Voila! Decorate with the thyme sprigs, and eat with something yummy like potato wedges (or a salad if you've been living off cake like I have). Jamie and I intend to take the leftovers to eat on our Windsor Great Park picnic tomorrow, along with some very exciting blackberry and elderflower cakes which I shall also blog soon. NOM.

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