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Pastis de Porros

This recipe is from The Catalan Country Kitchen, by Marimar Torres. In English its called “Glazed Leek and Cheese Tart.” It serves 8 to 10 people. We made it for the second annual tapas event at Denis and Maylou’s. A great array of tapas and friends. What a treat.

We made the tart following the instructions below. The pastry was especially good, and turned out well following the instructions. No substitutions, and getting things ready beforehand seemed to work well.

For the pastry

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) frozen unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons of ice water

For the filling

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 bunches of leeks, thinly sliced, with one third of the green part (about 3 pounds after cleaning.)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
  • 4 eggs (Plus 1 egg white, optional)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere or Emmenthaler cheese (1/4 pound)

To make the pastry dough: In a food processor, pulse flour and butter together until the mixture has the consistency of cornmeal. In a small bowl, mix together egg yolk, salt, and ice water; add to flour and butter mixture. Whirl until a ball of dough forms. (If a ball doesn’t quite form, remove dough and knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface for abotu 30 seconds.) Wrap the ball of dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

To prepare the filling: In a large pot, melt the butter and, over very low heat saute leeks until they are dry and almost caramelized; this will take 45 minutes to an hour. Season with the salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Let cool. In a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add cream and leeks, and mix well.

To prepare the tart: Preheat oven to 425 F. On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry thinly to fit a 9- or 10-inch tart pan about 1-1/2 inches deep. Trim away the excess doe. Line pastry shell with aluminum foil and weight it with pie weights or beans. Bake in 425 F oven for 15 minutes. Pick up foil by its edges and carefully lift it out of the pastry shell. Bake shell for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove form oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

To assemble the dish: Pour leek mixture into pastry shell. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in 375 F oven for 45 minutes, or until cheese turns golden. Serve warm, cut into wedges.

A story accompanies each recipe in the book. Her is the one the author wrote for this recipe.

Lola Pijoan was a great chef and a great lady. She died in 1990, leaving behind a legacy of old Cataln recipes that I have enjoyed at Can Borrell, the enchanting restaurant and inn she ran with her husband, Jaume Guillen, in the village of Meranges, high in the Pyrennes mountains. Reached by narrow winding roads running through bucolic valleys and mountain landscapes, this area — called La Cerdanya — is one of the most beautiful in Catalunya. I chose this recipe from her extensive repertoire because not only it it one of my favorites, it was one of hers, too. And it can be served either as first course, as a tapa cut into small wedges, or as a light luncheon entree with a salad.

Last year we made Prawns in Garlic Sauce with Sweet Red Peppers from the same cookbook.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3550
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 12
Total 3562

DoD Confirmation List Latest Coalition Fatality: Jun 25, 2007

Source: Iraqi Coalition Casualty Count

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