Blue cheese pairs beautifully with leeks and combined with a homemade savoury pastry spiked with black pepper it is well worth the effort to make these from scratch.
This is a pasteurized cheese made from cows’ milk. Chevington Artisan English Blue Cheese will get stronger with age and the mould will develop more once it has been opened. I suggest for it to be wrapped in foil once opened to avoid drying out and unwanted bacterial growth.
Enjoy with a plain green salad. This recipe is ideal for lunch, dinner, or a picnic in the garden.
Make the pastry in advance or even freeze it raw and complete the recipe at a later stage.
Preparation Time: 35 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling time
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6 people
For The Pastry
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cold water
For The Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
300g leeks – peeled and finely sliced
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
100g Chevington Artisan English blue cheese - crumbled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: Fresh thyme leaves
Olive oil – to drizzle over lettuce leaves
Place the flour, salt, butter, egg and black pepper into the food processor and process. Add a little water so that the mixture forms a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film, slightly flatten and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the leeks on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until nicely caramelized. Set aside to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F/ Gas mark 6.
Turn out the pastry on to a lightly floured work surface. Cut the pastry in half and roll out. Roll out each circle so that it is now approximately 10cm diameter and will fit into individual pastry tins (7 ½ cm). Press the pastry into the tartlet tin, trim the sides. To prevent the pastry shrinking during cooking, place in the fridge for 20 minutes before cooking!
Line with foil and insert baking beans. Do the same with the remaining pastry.
Bake the tartlets for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and baking beans.
Carefully spoon the leek mixture into each tartlet.
Whisk the eggs, milk, and thyme together. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour some of this mixture into each tart and top with crumbled Chevington Artisan English Blue Cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
To serve the Stylish way: Garnish with thyme leaves and serve on a bed of mixed leaves