A typical French winter classic, Flamiche Leek Pie. A recipe from Picardy usually served as a starter or entrée in Parisian brasseries. It's as easy as Leek Pie! The secret is the extra touch in the homemade pie crust.
Leek Pie Base
350g (12oz)Plain flour (all-purpose)
175g (6oz)Butter (unsalted)softened
pinchFleur de sel salt
Leek Pie Filling
900g (2lb)Leeks (about 4-5 medium)chopped
4Organic egg yolks3+1 for glaze
200g (7oz)Crème fraîche
1/4tspfreshly grated nutmeg
pinchSalt & pepper
In a large bowl, sift the flour then add the butter, milk, salt & pepper and curry powder (if using). Whizz together in a mixer until the dough is well blended, or mix by hand until smooth.
Split the dough in 2 (2/3 and 1/3), reserving the smaller one in the fridge wrapped in cling-film. With the 2/3 part, roll out the dough on to a lightly floured work surface to form a circle (30cm for a 28cm/11 inch diameter pie tin, or 2cm more than your tart pan). Transfer and push well in to a buttered pie tin (no need if using non-stick). Leave to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes then preheat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C/400°F/Gas 6).
Place a sheet of baking paper over the tart base and top with ceramic beans or rice. Blind-bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove the baking beans then leave to cool. Remove the rest of the dough from the fridge to bring up to room temperature and roll out to a circle the size of your tart pan.
Remove the root bases and about 1/3 of the green leaves, then clean the leeks by cutting down the tops on either side and wash under the tap to remove all dirt from the inside layers. Cut the leeks into 1/2 cm rounds.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until golden. Turn down the heat, cover the pan and leave the leeks to soften gently for 15 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Uncover and set aside to cool.
Beat the 3 egg yolks in a small bowl then add the crème fraîche, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix until smooth.
Spread the leeks on to the pastry base then evenly pour over the egg mix. Cover with the 2nd pastry circle, pressing the edges together to seal well. Crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork or make lines using a knife, and finish with a pastry roller to remove any rough edges and seal.
Beat the remaining egg yolk and brush over the pastry to glaze. Pierce a small hole in the middle of the pastry and insert a "chimney" with a small roll of baking paper or aluminium foil to leave the air to escape. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and remove from the tin directly on to a serving plate.
Delicious with a glass of chilled Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire or Bordeaux.Puff Pastry: This Flamiche can be made by using ready-made puff pastry (ensure it's good quality 'pure butter'), although the secret to this recipe is the homemade pie dough, as the touch of curry just takes this to another level.