Leek & Caerphilly Crumble Tart

Leek crumble tart

I first made this tart when we were visiting my parents in France. We were renting an apartment and I decided to cook. Unfortunately, I managed to break the oven, (I was mortified and not even my dad could fix it), but luckily for us the tart was just about cooked and was delicious. It’s perfect for this time of year when we still have sunny days and the light is that beautiful autumnal gold.  

Leek Crumble tart (2)

Ingredients

400g all-butter shortcrust pastry. (I used Eric Lanlard’s recipe)

250g plain flour

1 tsp fine salt

150g unsalted butter

1 egg beaten

1 tbsp milk

For the filling

50g butter

500g leeks (about 2), trimmed and sliced

3 eggs

75ml single cream

75ml milk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

For the topping

50g Caerphilly cheese, crumbled

85g fresh white breadcrumbs

50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp chopped parsley

Mini Leek Crumble Tart

Directions

To make the pastry

* Sift flour and salt into a large bowl

* Rub in the butter with your finger tips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs

* Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk

* Use fingertips to mix and ingredients to make a dough

* Turn pastry out onto a floured surface and knead two to three times

* Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Blind Baking

* Preheat oven to 180°c (fan 160°c)/ gas 4

* Roll pastry out and transfer onto a buttered 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin.

* Prick the pastry and chill for a further 15 minutes

* Place a large piece of grease proof paper over the case and fill it with baking beads (or in my case dried split peas).

* Cook for 10-15 minutes.

* Remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 10 minutes until the pastry is dry and crisp and the top edges of the tart are golden.

To make the filling

* Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large pan and, when foaming, add the leeks, cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

* Beat together the eggs, cream, milk, mustard, Caerphilly and some seasoning.

* Evenly cover the base of the pastry case with the leeks, then pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 25 minutes.

To make the topping

Combine all the ingredients. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle the topping evenly over. Return to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.

Classic Apple Tart

Apples then tart

I made this apple tart as soon as I got home after buying the cooking magazine, ‘Olive’, October, 2015. Since apples are in their prime and I happened to have a bowl of homegrown ones, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use them. The recipe itself couldn’t be easier to follow. I was really pleased about how this came out, but if I were to make it again, I would sprinkle the apples with cinnamon and add some sultanas, artistically, of course.

Ingredients

300g puff pastry (I used a ready rolled pack)

Plain flour for dusting

50g ground almonds

50g butter at room temperature

50g caster sugar

3-4 apples

1 lemon

1 egg beaten

4 tablespoons apricot jam

Splash of water

Baking rack and apple tart

Directions

  • Heat the oven to 190°C/ fan 170°C/ gas 5.
  • Roll out the pastry to the thickness of a 20p piece and use a plate approx 25cm in diameter to cut around with a knife. Transfer the pastry to a baking sheet.
  • Gently mark a border approx 1cm from the edge. Don’t cut all the way through the pastry.
  • Mix the butter, ground almonds and the sugar to make the frangipane. Spread a thin layer over the pastry within the border using a palette knife.
  • Peel and core the apples, then slice them thinly. Toss in lemon juice to stop them browning.
  • Arrange the apples over the frangipane.
  • Brush the border with the beaten egg. Gently knock up the edges of the pastry with a sharp knife by loosening the pastry layers so they rise more.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.
  • Heat the apricot jam and water in a small pan until runny then sieve. Brush over the apples while still warm.

That's a big slice!