As I have some spare time on my hands at the moment I thought I really ought to get into the kitchen. My husband is definitely the chef in our house but as it was his first day back at work today I thought I’d better make an effort!
I decided to make a cheese and leek tart, I’ve made it before but not for a few years. I write recipes in a book and so I had a look and quickly found the one I was looking for – Leek and cheese tart with a crumble topping. The recipe was somewhat sketchy so I had to make it up a bit!
All of my measurements are a bit haphazard and probably don’t need to be all that exact, but I think I used:
- 2 leeks
- 170g semi skimmed milk
- 20g butter
- 15g plain flour
- 70g cheddar cheese plus extra to grate on top
- Mustard (I use about 1tsp)
- 1 slice of granary bread
- Shortcrust pastry
I was really lazy and used ready made pre-rolled pastry. I find it quite hard to roll pastry because of my short arms but you can make your own or use ready made, it’s really up to you!
Firstly you need to grease a pie case, this is a messy job and I hate buttery fingers so I use a tip that my Grandma taught me. She uses a piece of kitchen roll to rub the butter around the inside of a pie or cake tin. In this case I took the really easy option and got someone else to do it, my sister was visiting so she became my sous chef. Once the dish is nicely buttered you need to pop the pastry in the dish, possibly easier said than done, but just fill any gaps and reseal any cracks and you’ll be fine. Next using a fork prick the pastry base then cover with grease proof paper and fill with ceramic beads. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes.
While the pastry is cooking wash and chop the 2 leeks. Place these in a saucepan and add water. The water shouldn’t cover the leeks, it should just come about halfway up them. Gently simmer for about 5 minutes. Then you just need to whip up a quick cheese sauce. I have a thermomix so used this to make my sauce but you can also make it in a pan. You need to melt the butter then add the flour, stirring all the time. Gradually add the milk, keep stirring! Then stir in the cheese as it melts and add mustard to taste. Keep stirring as the sauce thickens, you need to keep this on the heat for about 5 minutes. Drain the leeks and add them to the cheese sauce, mixing well.
Hopefully by this point the pastry case is ready to come out of the oven, take care removing the ceramic beads and grease proof paper as they will be hot! Add the cheesy leek mixture to the pastry case. At this point you need to find some way of making the slice of bread into breadcrumbs, again I use the thermomix but you could use any food processor. Lay the breadcrumbs over the cheesy leek mixture and grate cheese on top.
This then needs to be popped back into the oven for about 15 minutes at 180C.
We ate some for dinner with chips, they’re great for mopping up the extra cheese sauce!