My good friend, Robyn, and her two sisters came over for lunch the other day and as usual I had a treat in store for them. I was keen to use my brand spanking new loose bottom flan tin and what better opportunity than baking a tart?
As we were all bustling about in the kitchen all went well up to a point. Confidently I took the blind baked casing out of the oven and stupidly held it at its base. Next thing I knew I resembled one of those ancient Egyptian drawings where the slave holds a tray of food high in the air with a red-hot, oversized armband dangling on my forearm. Knowing that I had no spare shortcrust pastry available I resisted the immense temptation to chuck everything on the floor as quick as possible but within seconds with some help lifted the whole concoction back in place instead. Unfortunately, in the process the pastry took a beating, so please excuse the photo.
Literally scarred from the experience I haven’t baked with that darn flan tin again. That same week I also got burnt while ironing. Hell knows what I did wrong to deserve it.
But was it worth it? Oh yeah! In true Greedy Gourmet-style I must have eaten more than half of the quiche within the space of eight hours. It really was that good.
Recipe from BBC Good Food.
Cheese & Leek Quiche
Preparation: 25 mins – Cooking: 45 mins
- 500g (2lb) pack shortcrust pastry, fresh or frozen and defrosted
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced and washed
- 425ml (¾ pint) whipping cream
- 4 eggs
- 200g (8oz) hard, crumbly cheese like Cheshire, grated
- Heat oven to 200°C (fan 180°C/400°F/gas 6). On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to line a 30x20cm rectangular or 30cm round loose bottom flan tin, saving any leftover scraps. Prick the base well and bake covered with a sheet of greaseproof paper and weighed down with beans, rice or ceramic baking beans, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the leeks and stir until well coated. Season to taste, then fry gently for 10 minutes until softened and all liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool a little. Then mix the cream and eggs together, seasoning well, then stir in the leeks and cheese.
- Tip the filling into the prepared pastry case, making sure the leeks are evenly spread. Bake for 30 minutes until the tart is lightly browned, but still slightly wobbly in the centre. Serve warm or cold.
I enjoyed a crisp, green leafy salad with red pepper, cucumber, pecans and vinaigrette with this tart.
If your pastry case has any holes or cracks in it, use the scraps of uncooked pastry to patch them up. Brush well with egg white and seal it thoroughly. Then return it to the oven for another 3 minutes to dry the egg white.
This tart is best made on the day, but you can bake the pastry and make the filling the day before, then fill and bake on the day. Leave the pastry covered in cling film in the kitchen and store the filling in the fridge.