Make Ahead

Balkan Leek Tart

March  6, 2011
Photo by inpatskitchen
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

  • Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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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!