Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Fifty-Seven: Vegetable

by Williams-Sonoma

                  Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

I was originally looking for a light and healthy recipe after eating Halloween candy all week long; and light and healthy to me usually ends up being fish or salad and I had fish two nights in a row this week and salad just did not fit the bill with the cold and rainy day we were having.

I pulled out this book and was ready to make the Escalivada and just have a big bowl of veggies with french bread. Then I saw this recipe and could not pass it up; not only for my love of leeks and Gruyere cheese, but I had all the ingredients on hand except for the leeks! I love when I can use up what I have in the fridge; this does not happen often enough for me. With the rainy day we were having, this sounded so much more comforting than a cold salad. Light and healthy will have to wait...

Oh the aroma...

Success meter (1-3): 3+

Don't waste your time on a fancy border -
 it does not hold.

make sure to trim your paper if you
think it will hit your heating element.

So much for the fancy border.

Not the best looking crust I have made -
 I also forgot to prick the bottom with a fork
after the first part of baking.
 (did it after the fact)

Leek and Goat Cheese Tart
Serves 4-6

1 recipe Tart Pastry, partially blind baked*
2 Tbl unsalted butter
1 lb leeks, including tender green parts, well cleaned and
   sliced crosswise 1/8-inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Gruyére, Emmenthaler, or Jarlsgerg cheese
3 Tbl chopped fresh chives
¼ lb fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Prepare the deep pastry crust as directed and let it cool.

In a large, heavy frying pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When it foams, add the leeks, reduce the heat to low, and cook slowly until the leeks are soft and golden, about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolk, and cream until blended. Season with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese evenly over the bottom of the pastry crust. Top with the leeks, then the chives, and finally the goat cheese. Pour in as much of the egg mixture as will fit, stopping within ½ inch of the rim. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top.

Bake the tart until the top is lightly puffed and golden and the filling jiggles only slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 25 minutes.  Remove the tart from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


Tart Pastry
Makes one 9 or
9 ½  inch tart shell

1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
10 Tbl chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 Tbl ice water

In a bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is light and has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Slowly begin adding the ice water, stirring and tossing with a fork until the dough just holds together, using your hands, gently form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, place in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

On a floured board, roll out t he pastry into a 14-inch round. Fold it into quarters and transfer to a 9 or
 9 1/2 –inch tart pan with 2-inch fluted sides, preferably with a removable bottom. Ease the dough into the pan without stretching it, and trim off any excess. Press the dough against the sides, exerting enough pressure to extend it slightly above and just over the rim, so that a tiny lip of pastry tests on the rim. This prevents the sides from shrinking down as the shell bakes.

*To partially blind bake the shell, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pastry-lined tart pan; it should extend slightly beyond the rim. Weight it down with pie weights, draw rice, or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes until just set, then remove the weights and parchment. Prick the bottom of the still-soft crust with a fork and return to the oven until the crust sets and colors slightly, 5-10 minutes longer. Let cool on a rack before filling.


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