Sunday, December 29, 2013

Leek and Gruyère tart

Quick! Name ingredients used in lots of French cooking. 

If you said cheese, butter, heavy cream, salt, you'll understand why this dish is a total showpiece. The filling for this tart was basically transposed from my Cordon Bleu cookbook right onto this page. Its real name is tarte aux maroilles et aux poireaux. Maroilles is a cheese you may find at a specialty store, but otherwise, Gruyère is a good substitute.  The leeks are 'sweated' in butter until they relinquish their bitterness, leaving just a hint of mild onion flavour, and tons of texture in contrast to the gooey cheese.

Spring is the best time to make this dish, where leeks are in season and aplenty, but I made this as a pre-Christmas treat for my parents.I cheated and used a store-bought crust this time, but if you want to go the whole nine yards, I've included a link to crust directions below. This would be a nice side dish to serve with ham. This recipe is designed to make one tart, but these freeze well if you want to double the recipe and save one for later. 


To make filling: 

To make, slice 3 extra-large or 4 large leeks in lengthwise until you reach the stem (don't cut through the stem; it will hold the leek together when you slice the other way). Wash away any dirt stuck between the outer leaves. Then, slice crosswise very thinly into pieces about 1/2" wide. The leeks will reduce down when cooking, so don't worry if it seems you have too much.

Slice 3 thin rectangular slices of Gruyère or Maroilles cheese from the brick and set aside for decoration (see photo below). Grate 150g of cheese (by weight) and set aside. 

In a large sauté pan, melt 4T unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add the leeks. Continue to cook over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, stirring every once in a while with a wooden spoon to avoid browning. If the leeks are starting to brown, or looking too dry, place a lid over the pan for a minute or two to build up some moisture.

Once the leeks are quite soft, sprinkle over the grated cheese and mix well. Stir regularly until cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To make tart shell:

Follow the directions for flaky pie crust #1 here. Since the filling is quite moist, you may want to pre-bake the crust in a pie tin at 400F for about 8-10 minutes. Wrap the edges of the crust in foil to prevent burning, and gently pierce the bottom with a fork to prevent bubbles (or better yet, use pie weights if you have these).

To finish:

Note: If you're not planning to eat the the tart right away, hold off on this step until just before serving.

Gently scrape the leek and cheese filling into the tart shell, and spread evenly. Top with the three pieces of cheese for decor. Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes, or until heated through. Broil for a couple of minutes at the end to brown the tips of the filling.

{Photo taken before the finish step}


  1. Welll hello there, gorgeous! I'd love to be able to just reach out into the screen and have just a nibble !

  2. yum!!! this looks so good!!!

  3. Kat, this looks so good! I am having my last supper tomorrow so I can start 2014 off eating a little better. I have done some serious damage over these holidays.

  4. Oh my goodness, Kat, this tart looks absolutely divine - and like exactly the kind of thing I've been missing since my return to Canada. Of course we can make all of the wonderful French dishes here, but somehow it never seems quite the same. Still, I can't wait to try this - it looks to wonderful not to. Wishing you a very happy New Year, my friend!

  5. this look absolutely delicious! i am not the best at making pie crust so I'd probably cheat and use a pre-made one :O

    also - happy new years!!!

  6. Sounds heavenly. Love how "rich" it looks. Now I'm hungry.


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