Mushroom and Leek Tart
This savoury tart or quiche was inspired by the contents of the fridge crisper — a bunch of leeks and a handful of mushrooms — and proved delicious enough to please even a quiche-cynic!
Pastry making is always a learning experience for me. To appease an irritable tummy, I use whole grains where possible and often have to experiment for success. A 100% whole wheat crust does not always roll properly for me, and I have been known to piece together a crust using little bits.
The pastry shell recipe, adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetable Quiche with Smoked Cheese in the Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook, uses about 60% whole wheat and works very well. The dough was easy to roll and turned out flaky and delicious. My secret: add extra butter and refold dough while rolling.
And because two crusts are as easy to make as one, I doubled the recipe and froze a Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Tart for a rainy day.
Mushroom and Leek Tart
(Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetable Quiche with Smoked Cheese in Vegetarian Pleasures)
1 glass very cold water
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 tsp salt
6-7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits
To make the crust, combine the two flours and salt in a large bowl. Sift. Add the butter bits and toss to coat. With your fingertips or a pastry knife, mix butter into flours until coarse crumbs form. You don’t want the butter to be perfectly blended.
Make a well in centre of dough. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water, tossing and gathering dough into a ball. Add 2 additional tablespoons of cold water until dough is gathered into a ball. If dough is too dry, sprinkle on an additional tablespoon of water. Knead the dough two or three times to make it smooth. Gather it into a ball, flatten it into a disk, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill 10 minutes, or until slightly firm.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough large enough to fit a 10-inch quiche pan. Fold in half, then half again. Re-roll dough to fit pan. Fill the pan with the pastry, pushing it 1/4 inch above the rim of the pan to allow for shrinking. Prick all over with a fork. Freeze the crust for 30 minutes or cover and freeze up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake crust for 12-15 minutes. Let cool while making the filling.
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, sliced thinly
1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped in quarters
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat butter in non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add leeks to butter and saute until caramelized. Add mushrooms to pan, cooking until slightly browned. Stir in garlic and thyme and saute 3 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle 2/3 of the grated cheese in base of pie shell. Arrange vegetables over cheese. Carefully pour milk and egg mixture, being careful not to overfil the pie. Brush remaining milk and egg mixture on crust so it will turn golden while baking.
Bake quiche for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of the quiche comes out clean and the top is golden. Let the quiche sit for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Quiche is most delicious served warm, not hot.