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Alsatian Leek and Onion Tartlets Recipe (Tartlettes Alsaciennes)

The savoury filling in these tartlets is traditional to north-east France where many types of quiche are popular. Baking in individual tins makes for easier serving and looks attractive too.

SERVES: 6
PREP TIME: 20 min
COOK TIME: 40 min
READY TIME: 1 h
CUISINE: French

⇓ You may also listen to the recipe by pressing the play button below.

INGREDIENTS

  • 30 g/1 oz/2 tbsp butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp dried thyme
  • 450 g/1 lb leeks, thinly sliced
  • 55 g/2 oz/5 tbsp grated Gruyère or Emmenthal cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml/½ pint/1 ¼ cups single cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lettuce and parsley leaves and cherry tomatoes, to serve

For the Pastry

  • 175 g/6 oz/1 1⁄3 cup plain flour
  • 85 g/3 oz/6 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30—45 ml/2—3 tbsp cold water
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1 To make the pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2 Make a well in the flour mixture. In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk, water and salt. Pour into the well and, using a fork. Lightly combine the flour and liquid until the dough begins to stick together. Form into a flattened ball. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

3 Lightly butter six 10 cm/4 in tartlet tins. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until about 3 mm/1/8 in thick, then using a 12.5cm/5in cutter, cut as many rounds as possible. Gently ease the pastry rounds into the tins, pressing the pastry firmly into the base and sides. Reroll the trimmings and line the remaining tins. Prick the bases and chill for 30 minutes.

4 Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375°F/Gas 5. Line the pastry cases with foil and fill with baking beans. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes until the pastry edges are golden. Lift out the foil and beans and bake the pastry cases for a further 2 minutes until the bases appear dry. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Reduce the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas4.

5 In a large frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat, then add the onion and thyme and cook for 3—5 minutes until the onion is just softened, stirring frequently. Add the leeks and cook for 10-12 minutes until they are soft and tender. Divide the mixture among the pastry cases and sprinkle each with cheese, dividing it evenly.

6 In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Place the pastry cases on a baking sheet and pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set and golden. Transfer the tartlets to a wire rack to cool slightly, then remove them from the tins and serve warm or at room temperature with lettuce and parsley leaves and cherry tomatoes.