Leek & Irish Cheddar Tart Recipe

Leeks are a vegetable I've come to admire. Prior to traveling to Ireland, my exposure to leeks was limited to potato and leek soup. A nearly unparalleled comfort food, but not representative of the versatility of leeks. Before potatoes were cultivated in Ireland, the soup (known as brotchan foltchep in Irish) was made with leeks and oatmeal - the latter being a thickening agent. One day, I'll try my hand at leek and oatmeal soup, but for now, I'll share a leek-packed tart.
a sliced leek tartwhole and sliced leeksFor the crust, I relied on the trusty Delia Smith recipe found here. My dough was just slightly too dry; I've made a mental note to add a bit more water the next time.
a triptych of pastry ingredients, pastry dough, and a pastry-lined tart panclose up of sliced green leeks in a pan
If you've never cooked with leeks before, be sure to wash them thoroughly. There's a great tutorial here.

Leek Tart Recipe 

makes 1 8" tart 
(adapted from allotment.org.uk) 
The original recipe does not call for an egg, however, I decided to add one as an additional binding element.

  • 1 batch (175g) shortcrust pastry dough 
  • 1½ lbs. (700g) leeks, washed
  • 4 oz. (112g) butter
  • 2 oz. (56g) flour 
  • 200 ml. milk 
  • Salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 oz. (84g) mature Irish cheddar cheese
  1. Roll out the shortcrust pastry and use it to line an 8" (20 cm) tart pan. Refrigerate the dough while the filling is being prepared. 
  2. Cut thoroughly washed leeks into thin slices. I prefer to use as much of the leek as possible, so I've used much of the green as well as the while portions. 
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the leeks, cover, and reduce the heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Stir the flour into the leeks and gradually add the milk. Stir until smooth. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg if desired. 
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the beaten egg followed by the grated cheese. 
  7. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375°F/200°C/Gas Mark 6 for about 30 minutes until golden brown. 
This tart is all leek, all the time; it has a gorgeous flavor. It would make a great companion to toasted wheaten bread or a spring green salad. It would make a great addition to your leek recipe collection.

3 comments :

Mairead said...

Simply scrumptious looking, Elizabeth. I love your close-up shots of the tart. Thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe.

Ca4ole said...

Hi,
I liked this post very much and wondered if you would like to link it in to the
new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole's Chatter. We are collecting recipes using carrots
and/or leeks. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are lots of great recipes already
linked in.

Ca4ole said...

Elizabeth, thanks for popping over and joining in the Food on Friday Fun. I do hope to see you again soon. Cheers