Leek and Blue cheese tart.

For this tart, what you want is a nice soft cheese. Now for me living here in north Yorkshire I would use the local shepherd’s purse cheese. It has a lovely strong salty flavour to it and cooks down wonderfully in any thing you want to use it in. However, having said that it is a little to good for that so you could just use Stilton as well, not that there is any thing wrong with Stilton. So before I open a whole can of what is the best blue cheese I will say use the one you like.

For this pastry I have used all milk and eggs but you can use just a standard pastry if you whish to.

300g/10½oz plain flour
150g/5oz butter, diced
A pinch salt
1 free-range egg yolk
150ml/5fl oz milk

For the filling

3 leeks, trimmed, washed and diced.
25g/1oz butter
200g/7oz Blue cheese, grated
500ml/18fl oz double cream
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
Salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg to taste
Small bunch flat leaf parsley

To make you tart star by making a pastry case and blind baking that .Preheat the oven to 150c/300f and while that is getting hot make the pastry.

Sift the flour in to a bowl add the butter and quickly crumb the butter in to the flour so that you get a nice breadcrumb texture. Add a pinch of salt then add your egg and milk together and start to work it all with a fork and then finish with your hands. Rap and rest in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can make this all in a food processor as well.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Then line a tart tin, best to have one with a lose bottom. Prick the base of the pastry line it with some greaseproof paper, put some baking beans in it, and bake for about 15 minuets then remove the baking beans and pop back in fro another 3 or 4 just to brown the base a little. When lining the tin with pastry allow for some shrinkage and do not trim all the way back to the edge or you will find that you cannot all the fill in to the tart or it will leak out.

Now turn the oven up to 170c/ 352f as you will want I a little; hotter to cook the tart.

Now take your leeks, butter, and soften them in a saucepan together. Take the leeks of the heat and place in to one side. Then in a bowl add the cream salt, pepper, and nutmeg and blend. Now add the eggs, whisk the eggs together slightly with the cream to make the custard. Mix in to the custard the parsley leaves.

Now take your pastry case and layer the leeks at the bottom then sprinkle over the cheese and top with the custard.

Now bake in the oven till the custard sets and you have a nice brown top. Turn the oven down if you think that it is burning to quickly and that should be that.

This is a full body flavour full tart so serve with a light salad and some thing like a red onion chutney or marmalade .

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