I love the soft, smooth flavor of leeks that have been slowly cooked in butter. In this tart the silky, buttery leeks are sprinkled with herbes de provence and combined with goat cheese for a lovely start to any dinner. —CottageGourmet
1 1/4 cups
chilled butter (1 stick), cut into cubes
leeks, halved, cleaned, white and really light green part only
herbes de Provence
soft goat cheese, such as Montrachet or Chevre
Put the flour and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times.
Open up the top and drop the cubes of chilled butter onto the flour; close and pulse a few times till it begins to combine.
Pour 1 T of the water in through the feed tube and pulse, adding more water as necessary until the dough nearly comes together. Dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap, knead it into a disc and refrigerate for about a half-hour.
Put 2 T of butter into a saute pan, heat till bubbly then add the leeks; lower the heat and cook them slowly, never allowing them to brown, adding more butter if you feel it's necessary. You can add an additional 2 T of butter. When the leeks are soft and cooked through, sprinkle them with the herbes de Provence and let them cool down in the pan, covered.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350º. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out to less than 1/4" thickness. I use a 4.5 x 13.5 rectangular tart pan but you can also use a 9" springform pan or a tart pan with a removable bottom. Carefully put the pastry in the pan, smoothing it into the corners, prick the bottom and blind-bake it for 20 minutes, poking any bubbles with a fork should they erupt during the baking. Remove the crust from the oven and cool on a rack while you're fixing the filling.
Beat the yolk with the eggs, then add the cream. Season with a bit of salt and pepper if you wish; I like to use finely ground white pepper.
Lay the leeks across the bottom of the tart pan, fitting them snugly against one another. Crumble the goat cheese over the leeks, then pour the egg-cream mixture over all. If you use the rectangular pan I mentioned, you'll have extra crust and extra cream, don't think you can use it all in this one tart!
Place in center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the filling is set. Depending on the shape of your pan it may cook faster or it may require more time. With the rectangular pan it usually takes 25-30 minutes to be nicely done.
Let cool before slicing. This is a nice appetizer or, paired with a green salad, makes an elegant light lunch. Enjoy!