At Christmas, actually at any time that you are having a party or entertaining and need speedy ingredients and ideas, ready-rolled pastry is your friend. And, though I might be tempted to make shortcrust, since it is so little work, I am really very very unlikely to make puff pastry. Here, for example, in the last of the apéritif posts, is an idea that takes about 20 minutes to make and will probably disappear into your, or your guests’ happy faces in about two.
Flamiche is a leek and cream tart from northern France, Picardy and what I absolutely adore about this book is how the author chops something quite traditional, which might be perceived as complicated, down into a simple and accessible recipe that is really useful for both a party and, in a larger size, for an everyday lunch or dinner.
Just before I started making these I realised that I didn’t actually have any mini tart tins, only some 6-cm ones. So I made little apéritif ones without tins, by simply cutting out circles of pastry, then tried making bigger ones too. A quick extension of the cooking time and, voilà, a snack or 14 for later and some lunch-sized ones for tomorrow. Santé!
Makes about 12-15 depending on the size of your tins/cutter
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
butter, a large knob (about 20g) plus extra for the tins
salt and pepper
ready-rolled puff pastry sheet, 1
cream or crème fraîche, 2 tbsp
1. Butter some mini-tart tins or line a baking tray with some baking parchment and preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan-assisted/gas 4.
2. Lay the pastry on a work surface and cut out small circles from it using a pastry cutter or small glass. Place in the tart tins or on the baking tray.
3. Trim and wash the leek then slice it thinly (I also then chopped mine to make very small pieces).
4. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the leek and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Season and add the cream.
5. Divide the leeks between the tart tins/pastry circles and bake for about 10 minutes (depending on the size made) until golden. Serve warm.