A couple of days ago, I was following a recipe demonstrated by Chef Jean-Louis Gerin at Clarke Kitchen in SONO. It was a recipe for Leek and Oyster Pain Perdue….served on small baguette slices. Well! it turned out delish and inspired me to try other variations.
I loved the fragrant oniony flavor of the leeks and how its delicacy complimented the oysters without overpowering them. Most of all I loved how my house smelt when I took the dish out of the oven.
I decided to try the same basic recipe and make a Leek and Goat Cheese Tart. And here is how I did it:
To start, you would need one 9” pie crust (I used store bought frozen kind), 4-5 medium sized leeks, ½ cup heavy cream, 2-3 tbsp butter, 2 eggs, 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (I LOVE goat cheese and used more than specified here) and finally salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.
Leeks can be very gritty from all the dirt stuck in the leaves. Did you know that the best way to clean leeks is to hold them upside down, make four vertical slits with your knife through and through on each side of the leek…and then run it under cold water and wash off any dirt caught inside the folds of the leaves?
Give the leeks a fine chop and discard the white part towards the root. It is too strong in flavor and can be saved for another recipe. Cook the leeks with butter on medium high heat. Butter should be enough to coat the leeks so they don’t burn. Cook until the leeks are tender…about 7-8 minutes or so. If you sliced the leeks a bit bigger then it may take longer.
My personal rule is to always keep tasting and testing as I cook– even if I am following a recipe.
After the leeks are cooked, add heavy cream and keep stirring until the cream is absorbed by the leeks and the whole thing looks like a thick creamy mixture. This should not take more than a couple of minutes or so. Turn off the heat and add salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. The quantity varies on your personal preference, so be sure to taste and add more as needed.
Let the mixture cool, and then add 2 beaten eggs into the mixture. If you do this step while the mixture is hot, then you will get scrambled eggs (not that there is anything wrong with scrambled eggs, mind you).
Pour the mixture into the pie crust and sprinkle the goat cheese all over. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until the edges of the pie crust are golden brown and the filling feels like it is set when you gently press it with your fingers.
The tart can be served cool or warm. Letting it sit for a while will make it easier to cut into it. And yes this could be done with mini pie shells as well.
The creamy leeks and their smooth buttery flavor paired beautifully with the gentle yet lightly tart goat cheese. The cayenne adds that extra oomph to raise the bar on the flavor profile. Truly delicious!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. And if you try any other variations … do share.