In the summer I crave light meals packed full of flavor and served cold. This leek, goat cheese and prosciutto tart certainly ticks all those boxes!
Ingredients/supplies you will need:
- 230 g (9oz.) ready-made flaky pastry dough (or make your own with this awesome recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
- 12 ounces leeks, cleaned, trimmed (roughly three large leeks)
- 8 ounces firm goat cheese (rindless: you’ll be crumbling it with your hands)
- 150 grams prosciutto, chopped (ok to omit if you’d like a veggie tart)
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 7 fluid ounces creme fraiche or 7 fluid ounces double cream
- 4 shallots, trimmed and finely diced
- fresh ground black pepper
- 7½ inch (19 cm) diameter fluted tart/quiche pan
- baking sheet
- butter for cooking the leeks/shallots and for greasing the tart pan
- If you are making your own pastry dough, get started on this first. It will need to rest.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the baking sheet in to pre-heat on the center shelf. (This will ensure more even baking.)
- Prepare the leeks. Remove the tough green ends and then make a vertical split about halfway down the center of each one and clean them by running them under the cold-water tap while you fan out the layers (this will rid them of any hidden dust and grit). Then slice them in half lengthways and chop into ½-inch slices.
- In a medium-sized frying pan, melt the butter over a gentle heat and add the prosciutto, leeks, shallots and some salt. Cook gently, without a lid, for 10-15 minutes or until the juice runs out of them. Then transfer to a sieve or collander set over a bowl to drain off the excess juice. (Place a saucer with a weight on top of them to press out all liquid.)
- Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the tin (use the “roll-the-dough-around-the-pin” trick) and trim the edges (just roll the rolling pin over the top, pressing hard to cut off the excess dough), then prick the base all over with a fork.
- Paint some of the beaten egg for the filling over the base and sides and then cover the tin gently with foil so that the foil does not touch the dough. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
- While the pastry case is blind baking, crumble the goats’ cheese with your hands and gently combine it with the leeks & shallots in the sieve. In a separate bowl mix the beaten eggs with the crème fraîche or double cream, seasoning with just a little salt (there is some already in the leeks and lots in the prosciutto) and fresh black pepper.
- Remove the pastry from the oven, remove the foil, and place the leeks, shallots and cheese over the base. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the top of the cheese, shallots and leeks, (these two steps are necessary because the eggs might scramble if poured directly onto the warm tart dough). Put the tart back on the baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown.
- Allow the tart to settle for 10 minutes before serving.
The first time I looked at a tart recipe, I felt daunted. It is a LOT of steps, and working with dough is always a bit intimidating! I was shocked at how easy this recipe truly was, and how easy it is to play with: you can literally substitute ANYTHING for the staple veggies and cheeses and still get a delicious result! Don’t have leeks? How about trying broccoli? Don’t have proscuitto? Throw in some bacon? Don’t fancy goat cheese? Try something nutty, like gruyere, instead. Prefer a little more color? Add some diced red peppers. The possibilities are endless.