These tasty leek and cheddar tartlets are the perfect weekend treat. Balance the meal with a big leafy salad.
- Forthe pastry:
- 150g (5oz) plain flour
- 1 level tsp mustard powder
- Pinch of salt
- 100g (3½ oz) unsalted butter
- For the filling:
- 30g (1oz) butter
- 2 medium leeks, sliced
- 1 level tsp caster sugar
- 1 level tbsp freshly chopped thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 100g (3½ oz) mature Cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 large eggs
- ½ x 200ml carton crème fraîche
- 4 x 12cm (5½ in) fluted flan tins
- Baking sheet
- Baking parchment and baking beans
To make the pastry: Tip the flour, mustard, salt an butter into the bowl of a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1-2 tbsp water and whizz again, until it just starts to bind together. Alternatively, tip the flour into a bowl, add the butter and then rub the butter in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the mustard powder and salt, then add water and bind together to form a dough.
Divide the mixture into 4 and roll each portion out to line the flan tin. Repeat to line all 4 flan tins. Chill the pastry cases for at least 30 mins.
Meanwhile, to prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the sliced leek. Sprinkle the sugar over. Cook the leek over a medium heat for about 5-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until it softens. Stir the thyme and seasoning into the leeks.
Set the oven to gas mark 6 or 200°C. Place the flan tins on a baking sheet and line the cases with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake the pastry cases for 12 mins, then remove the baking sheet from the oven and lift out the baking parchment with the baking beans. Return the baking sheet with the pastry cases to the oven and bake for a further 5 mins, or until the pastry is a light-golden colour.
Remove the pastry cases from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 4 or 180°C.
Divide the leeks between the pastry cases. Top with the grated cheese. Beat together the eggs with the crème fraîche and then pour it into the pastry cases.
Bake the tartlets in the centre of the oven for 20-30 mins, or until the filling has just set and the tops are starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and leave them to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Serve the tarts, warm or at room temperature, with salad. Not suitable for freezing.
Woman's Weekly cookery editor Sue McMahon says these tartlets are tasty with chopped streaky bacon cooked with the leeks.