With Easter and school holidays coming, quick, tasty and impressive recipes are just what the Doctor ordered! With friends, family, and school kids coming around, all those hungry tummies need feeding! Few things look and smell more delicious than freshly baked tarts.
While we generally endorse making recipes from scratch- sometimes frozen puff pastry does the trick- it even comes in gluten free these days! By all means, if you have a puff pastry recipe you swear by- use that!
One of the best things about this recipe is its flexibility. Leeks are fantastic right now. That said, most seasonal produce will work (think asparagus, broccolini, rocket, onion, or even silverbeet!), simply adjust your cooking method slightly for your veggie of choice.
What You Need:
2 large leeks, washed and prepared by triming the dark green ends and removing tough outer leaves.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 cups grated cheese of choice (for an adventure try a mix of fontina, comte, or gruyere)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (dry will also work)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
A piece or two of seasonal fruit such as autumn plums, pears, or late season peaches
a little butter
What To Do:
Prepare and clean leeks as normal. Cut into 8CM lengths and then in half lengthwise. Pre-heat a frying pan and melt a bit of butter. Place leeks cut face down into very hot pan to caramelise. After a few minutes, flip to the other side to continue cooking. The front face should be nicely browned. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a bit of thyme. Once both sides are nicely browned- turn heat completely off and leave leeks to slowly continue cooking from the heat of the pan while preparing the rest of the dish.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Cut a defrosted (yet cool) square of puff pastry in half length wise- making two equal rectangles.
Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet
Meanwhile, mix the cheese, egg yolks, milk, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the puff pastry, leaving a 1.5 - 2 cm border on all sides. Arrange the leeks on the tart and bake until the pastry is golden and the cheese mixture is slightly puffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bonus Recipe! Seasonal Fruit Galette
There is always a little puff pastry left over. To make your cooking time go a bit further- grab a piece or two of seasonal fruit, peel and slice thinly. Arrange into a small piece of pastry- crimping the sides around it to make a "boat." Sprinkle with a little cinnamon, drizzle of honey and a little slice of butter. Pop them on the same baking sheet if there is room and Voila' two courses for the effort of one!