Since starting writing my own gluten free food blog, I’ve discovered many inspiring food/recipe writers and cooks; Rosie Birkett being one of them. Rosie is a recipe writer and cook, and it’s her recipe for leek, walnut and two cheese shortcrust tart that I’m about to share with you.
The original recipe for this truly scrumptious leek, walnut and two cheese tart featured in a copy of The Sunday Times magazine. Prior to the magazine being published Rosie shared a picture of the tart on instagram. The tart looked incredible and I knew I’d have to rustle one up. And I’m so glad I did, as this light, crisp, pastry tart filled to the brim with a glorious selection of wonderful ingredients, turned out to be a stunner!
I’ve only made a couple of tweaks to the original recipe. Of course, the first one being that I used gluten free pastry. The other teeny tiny adjustments were that I used dried thyme (I couldn’t get my hands on fresh at the time) and I went with 3 eggs rather than 4.
There are a few stages to making this tart and it takes a little more time to make than some of the other recipes I’ve shared with you so far, but if you’re a fan of leeks, walnuts and Stilton you simply MUST give this one a go!
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
Gluten free shortcrust pastry (click here for the recipe)
80g *walnut halves
1 tablespoon light olive oil
1 teaspoon *dried thyme (original recipe suggests 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, picked)
3 medium sized leeks, washed and finely sliced
120g *Stilton cheese (original recipe also suggests using Beauvale or Stichelton)
3 large beaten eggs
130g crème fraiche
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
20g mature cheddar or parmesan, grated (I used cheddar)
*Nutmeg, for grating
Lightly grease a 20cm metal tart tin or flan dish.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5/170C Fan and slide in a large flat baking tray, one thats large enough for the tart to sit on.
On a clean work surface, lightly dusted with gluten free flour, roll out the gluten free pastry until it’s large enough to line the prepared tart tin/dish. Aim for the thickness of a pound coin. Expect to have some pastry leftover.
Dust the rolling pin with gluten free flour before rolling the pastry around it and gently lowering it into the tin/dish. Work your way around the dish carefully lifting and easing the pastry in bit by bit. By doing this you are not over stretching the pastry, but instead allowing some ‘wiggle room’ for the pastry to shrink a little as it bakes.
To give the tart a nice smooth edge, rather than trimming the pastry with a knife, roll the rolling pin firmly over the top of the tin and remove the excess pastry.
Lightly prick the base all over with a fork, but don’t pierce all the way through.
Line the pastry base with a sheet of baking paper (if you scrunch the paper up first and then unfurl, you’ll find it fits the base better). Fill the base with baking beans. Place onto the hot baking tray and bake blind for 25 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans.
Lightly brush the pastry base with a little of the beaten egg. If there’s enough room, scatter the walnuts onto the baking tray around the tart tin. Use a separate tray for the walnuts if space is a bit tight (I did this). Pop the tart and the walnuts into the oven and bake for 8 minutes and then remove.
To make the filling: Heat the olive oil and butter with the thyme in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Once the butter has melted add the chopped leeks, along with a pinch of salt. Sweat off the leeks (cook without colour) until they are nice and soft and have reduced down significantly.
Spoon the leeks into the pastry base along with half the roasted walnuts and half of the Stilton.
Whisk together the eggs, crème fraiche, parsley, cheddar and season well with nutmeg (you won’t need to add any additional salt, as you’ve got tons of salty tang going on with the cheese).
Pour the mixture into the base and finish by dotting in the remaining Stilton and walnuts.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and just set.
Recipe notes and suggestions:
Rosie recommends that the tart is best served warm and I agree, however it’s delicious cold too and would make the most wonderful picnic treat!
I’ve not tested out if the tart will freeze OK, so for now I don’t recommend that you do.
To reheat the tart pop it into a preheated oven set at 200C/180C Fan and give it 12-15 minutes.
This tart would work well served up with a mixed leaf salad generously drizzled with a balsamic glaze. I’m thinking sliced pears and a little drizzle of honey would also be rather fabulous. Or you may like to go with Rosie’s suggestion of a sharply dressed chicory salad. Nice!
You could use the surplus pastry to rustle up some jam tarts, make a little pie or you may fancy lining another dish that could then be bagged up and popped into the freezer to use at a later date.
Credit and thanks to Rosie Birkett for inspiring me to give this super leek, walnut and two cheese tart a go; it was a joy to make and eat!
*Check this product out to ensure no gluten containing ingredients or ‘may contain’ or ‘not suitable’ warnings on the pack. If in doubt leave it out.