Cook This: Leek, Mushroom, Gruyère Tart
Fall is upon us in full force, which means lots of root vegetables, including the lovely leek. Mushrooms are always nice in winter for that yummy earthy flavor. And of course, who doesn’t love Gruyère cheese??? Seriously! If you know someone like this I’d like to meet them and stare at them dumbfounded.
Here’s a pretty good recipe for a basic crust, or pate brisee as they say in France:
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart by Deb at Smitten Kitchen. Some people say it’s cheating to use a food processor. I say, that’s nonsense. If it makes your life easier and still tastes delicious, do it!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Now for the filling. I used this recipe from the BBC, with a few minor adjustments and translation to American measurements.
Leek, Mushroom, & Gruyére Tart
2 tb of butter
4-5 leeks, sliced and washed
8 oz cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
1 cup heavy cream (you can cheat and use milk but it will be a bit less creamy)
1 cup Gruyère, coarsely grated (I used a bit more because I love cheese)
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a round about 2 inches larger than a 9 inch tart or pie pan. If you have the kind with the removable bottom, that will make it a little prettier, but if not, no worries. Use your rolling pin to lift it up, then drape over the tart pan so there is an overhang of pastry on the sides. Push the pastry into the corners of the tart pan. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins.
While the pastry is chilling, heat the butter in a pan and cook the leeks for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Then turn up the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 mins more, then turn off the heat.
Lightly prick the base of the tart with a fork, line the dough with a large circle of parchment paper, then fill with baking beans, rice, or actual pie weights. Blind-bake the tart for 20 mins, remove the paper and beans, then continue to cook for 5-10 mins until it begins to brown.
While the dough cooks, beat the eggs in a bowl, then gradually add the cream. Stir in the leeks, mushrooms and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then pour the filling into the dough. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, then bake for 20-25 mins until set and golden brown. Leave to cool in the pan about 10 mins before serving. Yum!