Seasonal Flavors: Leek Tarte

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We traveled to France in 2017 to visit friends. The husband had stayed with us for an extended time as a student. He was a trained chef and during his stay, he regularly delighted us with crepes, pastries, and sauces. Turns out he married a woman who is quite a cook, too. Sunday dinner was sautéed duck breast, chestnuts sautéed in the duck fat (see Crozet Gazette September 2018) and this leek tart. All the food was exquisite and I begged Natalie for the recipe.

Natalie had to explain ‘lardon’ to me. These are small pieces of salted pork fat. I haven’t seen lardon here (admittedly I haven’t looked very hard; why not just use bacon?)

I actually own a tart pan, but you can use a baking sheet and crimp the edges of the pastry to form a circle. A pie plate will be too small.

This isn’t a quiche; you use only a single egg. It’s a flaky pastry with a thin, baked combo of wonderful flavors. Easy, yet festive. Yes, even the French will take the occasional frozen pastry shortcut. 

Tarte aux Poireaux

  • One sheet of frozen puff pastry
  • 3 leeks
  • 3 strips of thick bacon, diced
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Nutmeg
  • 2 oz gruyere cheese

Remove the puff pastry from the freezer about 40 minutes before you begin and allow it to come to room temperature. Gently roll the pastry out on a floured surface, until it is the size of your tart pan. Carefully lift the pastry and line the tart pan, crimping the edges.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Clean the leeks and thinly slice, using the white parts only. Sauté the bacon and leeks together. The bacon will supply the oil for cooking the leeks.

Using a small bowl, beat the egg into the cream, then add the cooked bacon and leeks. 

Pour the entire mixture into the prepared pastry shell.

Sprinkle with the grated cheese and a bit of nutmeg.

Bake for 25 minutes.

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