Quiche, tart – all the same, and all with a thin layer of pastry and an abundant filling. Although it looks a long cooking time, this leek and Stilton tart can be prepared in easy stages: cooking the base first and leaving to cool, and then filling later.
SERVES 6-8 as a light meal
CHILLING TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 1 1⁄2 hours, plus resting
FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
225g (8oz) plain our, plus extra for dusting
125g (4 1⁄2 oz) cold butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
FOR THE FILLING
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
450ml (15 oz) double cream
150g (5oz) Stilton cheese, coarsely grated
2 tbsp chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. You will need a 28cm (11in) round, loose-bottomed, deep tart tin, preferably fluted. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and grease the tin with butter.
2. To make the pastry, measure the our and butter into a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and water and whiz into a smooth ball of dough. Alternatively, rub the flour and butter together in a mixing bowl with your fingertips before adding the egg and water.
3. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a disc slightly larger than the tin and about the thickness of a £1 coin. Carefully transfer the pastry to the tin and press it into the base and sides. Form a little lip around the edges of the tin, trim off any excess and prick the base with a fork. Place in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes.
4. Line the pastry case with baking paper and baking beans and bake blind in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes or until just cooked and pale golden. Reduce the oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a wide-based frying pan, add the leeks and celery and fry over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are completely tender. Take off the lid, then increase the heat and fry for another minute to drive off any excess liquid. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. Beat the eggs and cream together in a jug and season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon the cooked leeks and celery into the pastry case, scatter with the cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the egg and cream mixture.
8. Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and just set on top (see tip). Leave for 5-10 minutes to rest before turning out.
Can be made up to 8 hours ahead and reheated. The pastry base can be cooked up to a day ahead.
Both the cooked tart and the unfilled pastry base freeze well.
MARY’S CLASSIC TIP
Check the tart halfway through cooking and if it is browning on one side more than the other, turn it around on the oven shelf.
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Classic, published by BBC Books on 25th January, price £26. As well as Mary’s introduction the book contains more than 100 all-new recipes, with Mary’s crucial tips for each one. Chapters include canapés and first courses, fish, poultry and game, pork, lamb and beef, vegetarian, puddings and desserts, and teatime. To order a copy for £20.80 until 4th February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.