Monday, March 26, 2012

Leek and Bacon Tart

This tart was the hit of our St. Patrick's Day festivities. I must admit, however, that I cheated a little. The recipe for the tart dough in my Irish cookbook didn't look quite as good as my tried and true French Plain Pastry Dough recipe that I use for almost everything. This is Laura Calder's recipe that I've posted before. So, I admit it, I used a French recipe for the tart crust, but I'm glad I did. It's so darn good. The rest, however, is Irish.

Plain Pastry Dough (Laura Calder's Recipe)
1.5 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
7 tbs chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4-5 tbs ice-cold water, more if needed
(This fits a 9-10 inch tart shell.)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the flour, salt and butter in a food processor. Pulse until you see the butter start to make little balls. (About 6-8 pulses.)

2. Add the water and pulse until a dough forms. It will not be a perfect round ball, but you'll see it come together. Don't over-process. Remove from the processor and pat into a disk. The dough will be neither sticky nor dry.

3. Put on a floured surface and roll out to fit your tart shell. Line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove the beans and parchment paper. Fill with tart ingredients.

Leek and Bacon Tart
8 oz bacon, diced
4 leeks, sliced
6 eggs
1/2 cup cream cheese
1 tbs mild mustard
1/2 cup cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook the bacon in a hot pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Add leeks to bacon fat and cook for 15-20 minutes over low-medium heat until soft. Remove from heat and combine with the bacon. In a bowl, beat the eggs, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne pepper and seasoning together. Add to the leaks and bacon.

2. Pour filling into tart shell. Top with shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

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