Gourmandistan

Leek Tart welcomes the ’80s back

Leek tart

As we have noted before, Gourmandistanis are not unfamiliar with the 1980s. Over the decades we discarded many of our ’80s ways (shoulder pads, Sony Walkmen, comic books), but we never gave up the habit of eating quiche, despite being told it was not a dish fit for “real men.” (Being perceived as unmanly has never been an issue for Steve, who merely has to grunt in his normal basso profundo, possibly while pointing to his profound amount of chest hair.)  We long ago adapted a Patricia Wells recipe for this lovely leek tart (which the cookbook calls a flamiche aux poireaux), and it’s been a regular dish in our kitchen for many years, improving and becoming more frequent as Steve ascended to the position of resident pâte brisée expert. Sometimes we make a large pie; other times we make individual serving tarts as we did here. Although the original recipe calls for ham, we usually lean toward Alsace-Lorraine by substituting bacon.

Leek tart

We recently saw an article claiming quiche is an ’80s trend poised to reappear, which inspired us to once again make this time-tested, possibly-now-trendy-again simple recipe. While we will eat this pie at any time of year, we especially enjoy it in winter when green things are hard to come by. Paired with a nice salad, the quiche/flamiche makes a lovely meal, and will hopefully sustain you as you begin your reacquaintance with Super Mario Brothers 2.

Leek tart

LEEK TART

  • Servings: makes one 10-1/2 inch or four 4-1/2 inch tarts
  • Print

(adapted from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking)

  • Pie crust dough for a one-crust pie (such as this pâte brisée recipe)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • white parts of 3-4 large leeks, halved and sliced thin (about 2 generous cups)
  • 4 TB butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large or 3 small eggs
  • 1/4 c. crème fraîche and/or heavy cream
  • freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 c. (about 3 oz.) grated Gruyère cheese

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Roll out crust and place in either a 10-1/2″ tart pan or in four 4-1/2″ tart pans with removable bottoms. Prick all over with a fork and then refrigerate for half an hour or so (or freeze for a shorter period).

Pre-bake pie crust for about 10 minutes covered with foil and weighted down with dried beans or pie weights, then for about 5 minutes uncovered (slightly longer in each step if using a large tart pan). Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Increase oven temperature to 425° F.

Cook bacon. Drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve.

Melt butter in a skillet. Add sliced leeks and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened but not colored. Remove from heat.

Place eggs, cream and a bit of nutmeg in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add leeks and 3/4 of the bacon and stir well. Then stir in 3/4 of the cheese.

Pour leek mixture into prepared tart pan(s). Level filling and then sprinkle remaining bacon and cheese over.

Bake until nicely browned, about 20-25 minutes for small tarts or 35-40 minutes for a large tart. Cool on a wire rack and then remove sides from pan(s).

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44 comments

  1. Loved reading this post! We adore leeks, and as that is almost all that is available during the cold winter months (excepting cabbages and tubers), we eat alot of them, and are always happy to find a new way of preparing them. May I be a terrible snob? Where I live, flamiche does not contain ham or bacon or any meat! It is often made with Maroilles cheese instead of Gruyère, but that’s the only admitted variation. If you add ham it ceases to be a flamiche, and becomes a simple quiche! 🙂 But then, who cares, as long as it is delicious?

  2. This post is hilarious! My mom always said that men don’t eat quiche. Quiche has become oddly dated and it is making a resurgence here in the States. I love that you guys are keeping it alive. This one looks fabulous. Leeks and gruyere are two of my favorite things. What a wonderful combination. Yours turned out excellent. I wish I could come share them with you!

    • Thanks, Amanda! We got in the habit of making these back in the days when we had dozens of chickens and were overwhelmed with eggs. But, we’re down to only 3 hens now and sometimes (gasp!) I even have to buy eggs at the farmers’ market.

  3. I love quiche! And having grown up 10 car minutes away from Alsace,I consider this a timeless dish. PS: Michelle – how wonderful having your own pâte brisée expert at your disposition 24/7 ;-).

    • I didn’t know that’s where you grew up. Were you near Freiburg? We spent a month in Eguisheim back in ’08 I think it was and we always went to Freiburg to the market. That part of Germany is so pretty—and, unfortunately, the only part I’ve been to … yet!

  4. I am standing firmly by tarts & quiches, they make such perfect suppers & weekend lunches that they never really went out of style in our kitchen. My favourite is leek & salmon, or is it spinach & blue cheese, classic Lorraine, or pure veg? Not only did the 80s overdo quiches but I imagine, they were banned following the no fat, low-fat, no bacon, egg, cream, butter dogma. How wrong they were. I still have my Sony Walkman and it still plays! Oh, I got some old mixed tapes, too!
    Nicole

  5. Quiche has never gone out of style in my kitchen either. Real men DO eat quiche! They vary in depth and breadth and the fillings have infinite possibilities, but it always disappears quickly. It’s ages since I made a leek tart, must remedy that.

  6. Eha

    Hmmm: I still have a working Walkman and a few garments made more flattering with shoulder pads and I simply did not know I wasn’t meant to eat quiche for the last quarter of a century!! Looking at the ingredient list ’tis an occasional indulgence for me but you do present a nice recipe 🙂 !

    • Thanks, Eha. And I agree. Some things, like tasty savory tarts, should never go out of style. And you’ve got a good point about the shoulder pads. (As long as they’re not enormous like they sometimes were back in the day!)

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