The wintery weather across the UK has caused panic-buying in the supermarkets. In our local shops, the shelves were first stripped bare of milk, bread, eggs, bacon and sausages before shoppers moved on to toilet rolls, cheese and fresh meats. I didn't look but am guessing that there must have been a gap in the tomato ketchup and brown sauce stocks too because it looks as though everyone has become fried breakfast addicts in the south east! In our household, panic-buying consisted of stocking up on vegetables and oranges, so far, we haven't gone hungry! As I am writing this, I can hear the dulcet tones of rear-wheel drive car wheels spinning on the freshly fallen snow and failing to get a grip on the slippery tarmac hill outside our house. I have no desire to leave the house right now, and I am guessing that the drivers outside are wishing they had made the same decision.
I was a bit impatient to get this into the oven so didn't leave the pastry to rest for thirty minutes before rolling. I thought I had got away with it until I went to move the smoothly rolled sheet over the pastry case, at which point it fell apart completely! So, whilst I waited for the pastry to rest properly, I prepped the leeks - which is, of course, what I should have planned to do in the first place. This recipe is very easy to make and delicious to eat, so my impatience was quite justified. I had promised myself a chiled glass of manzanilla with the tart (and not before) so that was the real reason for rushing the pastry.
Whilst sitting down to eat this together, the teen declared her new passion for a vegan diet (forget the eggs and cream in the tart, th enext bit is even better). On tasting this, she followed this statement up without so much as a pause for breath, by suggesting that this tart would be even more delicious with nuggets of crispy smoked bacon or salmon fillet included. Fickle? A teenager's prerogative!
This recipe is just as good served as a summer lunch as a winter supper or snack. Do enjoy it!
- 1/3 recipe gluten free shortcrust pastry
- 600g leeks (or onions)
- 2 tbsp butter, olive oil or rapeseeed oil
- 250g double cream
- 5 freerange eggs (medium to large)
- nutmeg, salt & pepper
- preheat oven to 180°C
- roll out pastry and line a 10" tart plate or loose bottomed tin (or individual tins)
- lay baking paper over the base of each tart, cover with baking beans or pulses
- bake blind for 20 minutes until the pastry base is cooked through and crisp, but not coloured
- whilst the tart case is baking, wash and finely slice the leeks
- fry gently with a sprinkling of salt until softened into a thick mass
- in a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream together, season with salt and pepper and a good grating of nutmeg
- remove the cooked tart shells from the oven, carefully tip the hot beans off the tart into a heat proof bowl and leave to cool, remove the baking paper too.
- once the leeks are cooked, stir them into the cream mix, stirring until the leeks are evenly mixed through the custard
- carefully pour the custard into the tart shell and replace in the oven
- bake at 180°C for 25 minutes, turning half way through to ensure an even bake
- remove from the oven checking the custard is cooked through (just firm to the touch) and allow to rest for five minutes before serving