Make Ahead

Balkan Leek Tart

March  6, 2011
2 Ratings
Photo by inpatskitchen
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
Author Notes

My roots are Bulgarian and Macedonian and throughout my life, banitsa, the traditional filled filo pastry has always been a part of family meals. My mom and I used to set aside a day in early November, making 100 rolls filled with spinach, apples, peppery ground beef to freeze for the holidays....but my favorite was always the leek filled rolls. So I took that leek filling and baked it in a tart shell. Oh my!! Memories... - inpatskitchen —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

I had my eye on this tender tart. I've always used ice water in my tart pastry, and the half and half used here in its place gives the crust a wonderful tenderness that marries beautifully with her soft filling. I used whole milk cottage cheese along with the ricotta, and the buttery leeks fold right into the gentle custard. This would be lovely to serve on a brunch buffet, first because its pale colors are beautiful, but also because its delicate texture firms up a bit as it comes closer to room temperature. I so enjoyed this new cultural experience. - boulangere —boulangere

What You'll Need
  • Tart shell
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 ounce stick of butter cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons half and half
  • Leek filling
  • 3 1/2 cups leeks ( white and light green part only) which have been quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced into quarter moons.
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups cottage cheese set in a colander and thoroughly drained of all liquid.
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (preferably Bulgarian feta)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  1. Tart shell
  2. Mix the flour and salt together and place in the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the butter and pulse about 8 times.
  4. Add the half and half, one tablespoon at a time and pulse until you can form the dough into a ball for rolling.
  5. Roll the dough into a round large enough for a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Lightly spray the pan with cooking oil and press the rolled round in.
  6. Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes at 400F. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing the filling.
  1. Leek filling
  2. Saute the leeks in the butter until soft and fragrant. Remove to a medium mixing bowl and let cool.
  3. When the leeks have cooled, stir in the remaining ingredients and thoroughly combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake for 40 to 50 minutes at 325F.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • creamtea
  • boulangere
  • Sagegreen
  • monkeymom
  • hardlikearmour

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

24 Reviews

creamtea January 1, 2013
I was hoping you'd submit this!
inpatskitchen January 2, 2013
Oh Thanks! I think I've submitted it to every contest there is! (lol)
boulangere January 1, 2013
I sooooooo remember this - glad to see it here again.
inpatskitchen January 2, 2013
Thanks so much b!
inpatskitchen January 10, 2013
Hi cookbookchick! I think boulangere meant to say feta instead of ricotta. Feta is integral to the recipe, however you could probably sub ricotta for the cottage cheese.
inpatskitchen January 10, 2013
Thanks cookbookchick! I remember both my Bulgarian and Macedonian grandmothers making phyllo with the broomstick also. Did you see the other leek recipe I entered in the leek contest?
creamtea April 23, 2012
Glad to see this come up again!
inpatskitchen April 23, 2012
And again and again (LOL).! I'm so glad you enjoyed this... I never received a notification of your last comment..or I would have answered sooner. And trust me I use prepared crusts very often!
creamtea October 15, 2011
Made this and it was delicious. The kids are asking for it again. We loved it, our friends loved it. Definitely a keeper, even though I used a prepared pie crust.
catydid September 28, 2011
Amazing recipe - perfect combination of cheeses and leeks! I cheated and used a prepared roll-your-own crust, but did the filling just as described with leeks from my cousin's organic garden. Delicious! Thank you!
inpatskitchen September 29, 2011
I'm so glad you enjoyed this catydid! Thank YOU so much!
creamtea September 26, 2011
I like this. I may try this next week for a potluck Sukkot meal. It's just the thing.
inpatskitchen September 26, 2011
Thanks creamtea! If you do try it please let me know what you think..
boulangere September 25, 2011
I loved this!
inpatskitchen September 25, 2011
And I thank you again! I'm determined to work with phyllo again sometime in the near future and make this right!
boulangere September 25, 2011
I'd love to hear your results. You might inspire me to do the same. At the same time, your pastry here is pretty incredible.
inpatskitchen September 25, 2011
Maybe I'll try it before Thanksgiving..I do know that fresh phylllo works better than frozen and I think I have a source... Boy if I get into it I could do spinach and leek and there's one I really like with ground beef and lots of black pepper!
boulangere September 25, 2011
Both sound divine in their own way.
boulangere May 7, 2011
I have to confess that I simply don't have the patience to work with phyllo very often, so I especially love that you've re-purposed a filling into this lovely tart. Beautifully done.
inpatskitchen May 7, 2011
I'm with you boulangere! After my mom passed I did it for a few my Dad's wife does the phyllo. Thanks for your kind words.
Sagegreen March 12, 2011
monkeymom March 6, 2011
I can't wait to make this. It looks amazing!
hardlikearmour March 6, 2011
Love leeks and feta! Lovely tart.
inpatskitchen March 6, 2011
Thanks....between the ribollitta I made yesterday and this, we have lunch all week!!