The Food Gatherer’s Note: I’ve been cooking this recipe for years and it never fails. It was taught to me in Wales by Beefsteakveg.com but I believe that the recipe may have originated with Delia! My friend occasionally added some finely chopped walnuts to the pastry which gives it a wonderful nutty edge, if you fancy ringing the changes. They can be made as individual tarts, however I find that a slice of this tart served with some rocket and a dollop of red onion marmalade on the side looks just as pretty and it’s far speedier to make than 6 smaller tarts. – Kim x
goats cheese and leek tart
For the pastry:
25g goats cheese
110g plain flour
25g vegetable fat (lard)
For the filling
350g chopped leeks
175g goats cheese (crumbled or thin slices, depending upon the type of goats cheese you have)
3 large beaten eggs
200ml creme fraiche or double cream
4 spring onions finely sliced
Thyme leaves to sprinkle on top (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375ºf or 190ºC.
You can of course buy the pastry to save time, but this is really so easy and quick that I make it myself. Simply sift the flour with a pinch of salt and add the vegetable fat and butter and with cold hands and using mainly your fingertips, rub it all together until you get a breadcrumb mix. Then crumble in the goats cheese and sprinkle on a tablespoon of cold water and with a palate knife mix it all together until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Then pop it into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
For the filling, melt the butter over a gentle heat and add the sliced leeks and a pinch of salt. Leave to cook gently without a lid for 10 minutes. Drain any juice.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out to fit your tin – this amount of pastry should fit a 19cm fluted tin. Make sure the tin is buttered and dusted with flour so that it will release easily!
Place your pastry into the tin and press it down, pushing back in the sides so you haven’t stretched it or it will shrink. Trim any excess and prick the base with a fork to stop it bubbling up. Paint the base with some beaten egg and place in the oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until it is golden.
While the pastry is baking, crumble or slice the goats cheese and mix with the leeks and spring onions. In a jug mix the beaten eggs and creme fraiche together and season gently.
As soon as the pastry case is ready, tumble over the leek and goats cheese mix, spreading it out. over the pastry.
Gradually pour half the creamy egg mix over then put the tart back into the oven and gently pour in the rest of the mixture, then sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Adding the rest of the mix in the oven is to stop it spilling, as you carry the tart from the worktop to the oven as the tart will be very full. Bake for 30-35 minutes until its firm and turned golden brown.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes so it is easy to slice. Serve with a green salad and some tangy onion marmalade.