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Belgian Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese

October 26, 2009

tart

A few things about this recipe.

It’s from one of Molly Wizenberg’s articles in Bon Appetit. First, I love her articles almost as much or more than her blog, orangette.  Also, I heart that she included the French name for the tart as well: Flamiche aux Poireaux. Doesn’t it sound more fabulous in French? Most things do.

I vividly remember sitting at home on the couch reading Bon Appetit and thinking “I must make this! Tomorrow! Or maybe next week at the latest…” Well imagine my surprise when I searched for the recipe online a few weeks ago and realized that a whole YEAR had passed and I had never gotten around to it. 

It really is a shame I forgot about this recipe for a whole year, because it is splendid. Absolutely perfect.

leeks

Fall came early to Dallas this year. Or actually, with highs in the 50s, that’s pretty much winter for us. After nearly freezing in my office for a couple of weeks I took matters into my own hands and declared that the days of “ohmygod if I have to eat one more salad for lunch I’m going to DIE” were over and it was time for something more substantial. Something warm, comforting, and most importantly, something that I would actually look forward to eating at my desk (and not send me running to the nearest Whole Foods for soup out of desperation).

This tart was the best possible solution. Of course it’s best right after it’s baked, but I found that it reheated very nicely.

Belgian Leek Tart with Aged Goat Cheese
adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in Bon Appetit

Crust
4 tablespoons ice water, plus more as needed
3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubesSince the dough needs to chill for at least 2 hours, I made this the night before. It really is easy, even for non-bakers like me. (Thank you wedding registry for my Cuisinart!)
Mix the water and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. Using a food processor, mix the flour and salt by pulsing a few times. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, it’s ok if some pieces are bigger than others. With the motor running, add the liquids until the dough begins to form larger clumps. You may need to add a few more teaspoons of water to get the dough to come together.

Gather the dough and flatten it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to make the tart, preheat the oven to 375˚, and take the dough out of the refrigerator to let it warm up for 15-30 minutes or so, just until you can roll it out easily. Roll it out to a 12 inch round and gently transfer it to a 9 inch round tart pan. Trim edges to 1/2 inch or so. Line the dough with foil and pie weights or dried beans ( I used rice) and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake for 15-25 minutes, until the crust is pale golden. You can prepare the filling while it cools.

Leek Confit
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt

I started this as soon as I put the tart shell in the oven and the timing was great.
Melt the butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and stir to coat, then add the water and salt. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the leeks are very tender, stirring often, about 25-35 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for several more minutes to let the water evaporate.

Filling

1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim milk – I think the cream makes it plenty rich)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled aged goat cheese (such as Bûcheron), rind trimmed
1 1/2 cups Leek Confit

Whisk the milk, cream, eggs and salt in a medium bowl. After the tart shell has cooled for a few minutes, scatter half of the cheese crumbles across the bottom. Spread the leek confit over it, then add the rest of the cheese. Pour the milk mixture over. Bake until the tart is slightly puffy and golden on the top, and the center looks set, 35-40 minutes. Try to let it cool for a few minutes before you slice into it.

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