Meat Free Lent VI: Leek and Feta Cheese Tart

Liz Parsons – St Dunstan’s Church

I often make this using my home-grown leeks. It also freezes well.

Servings: It depends how big the slices are!  And whether there are lots of salads with it or not…. I actually make it in a foil tray bake, and it certainly feeds four or six more modestly!

One packet ready-rolled shortcrust pastry (or home-made)
For the filling:
625 g leeks, i.e. 350 g trimmed weight
175 g feta cheese (or firm goats' cheese - rindless) 
10 g butter
3 large eggs, beaten
200 ml crème fraîche or double cream
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced, including the green parts (optional)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Quiche tin.

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5, 375°F (190°C) pre-heat the baking sheet on the centre shelf.

1.       Clean the leeks and slice in half lengthways and chop into 1 cm slices. In a medium-sized frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat and add the leeks and some salt. Give it all a good stir and let them cook gently, without a lid, for 10-15 minutes or until the juice runs out of them. Then drain off the excess juice.

2.       Press the pastry lightly and firmly over the base and sides of the quiche tin. Trim the edges and then prick the base all over with a fork.  Paint some of the beaten egg for the filling over the base and sides. Now place the tin on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.

3.       While the pastry case is pre-baking, crumble the cheese with your hands, then gently combine it with the leeks. Now, in a jug, mix the beaten eggs with the crème fraîche or double cream, seasoning with just a little salt and a good grinding of freshly milled black pepper.

4.       As soon as the pastry case is ready, remove it from the oven, arrange the leeks and cheese all over the base and then sprinkle the spring onions over the top. Now gradually pour the cream and egg mixture over the leeks, then put the tart back on the baking sheet. Gently slide the shelf back in and bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, until it’s firm in the centre and the surface has turned golden brown.

5.       Next, remove it from the oven and allow it to settle for 10 minutes before serving.

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