As the days get cooler and the winter wardrobe comes out of hibernation, there is nothing nicer than a warming weekend lunch. I recently made Simon Bryant’s Leek and Potato tart with feta from his ‘Vegie’s’ cookbook. It was lovely and I’ll definitely be adding it to my ‘must make again’ list.
I didn’t use Simon’s pastry recipe, instead I opted to stay with Maggie Beer’s sour-cream pastry which never fails. 250g plain flour, 200g chilled unsalted butter, chopped, 120mls sour cream. Process the flour and butter in your food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs. With the motor still running, gradually add half of the sour cream, then add enough of the remaining sour cream to help the pastry just come together to form a ball. You should have enough pastry to fill four individual tart cases or one large tart case and enough to freeze for later use. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 20 minutes before rolling out. Don’t forget to line the pastry in the tart cases with baking paper and use pastry weights or uncooked rice. Bake the pastry at 200 degrees for about 12 minutes or until just golden and let cool. Alternatively, use a good quality store bought pastry like Careme.
20 g unsalted butter
30ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, sliced
3 waxy potatoes, thinly sliced
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 bay leaf
200mls double cream
30g parmesan cheese or a strong cheddar
3 free-range eggs
sea salt and cracked pepper
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy-based fry pan with a lid over medium heat. Add leek and saute for a few minutes, then add potato slices, thyme, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and pop lid on pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until potato is tender. (The potato will cook a little more in the oven, but make sure at this point potato is pretty much cooked through). Remove bay leaf.
Mix the cream, cheese and eggs together in a bowl and season. Spoon the leek and potato mixture into the pastry shells, then pour over the egg mixture. Crumble feta on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the filling is just set. The mixture should definitely not wobble when you shake the tin. Sprinkle some Italian parsley on top and enjoy with a green leafy salad and a crisp white wine.