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
- 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.