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Leffe. Leffe. Leffe, Right, Leffe….

June 2, 2010

Damn. I was going to write a post about Bisteksilog, which was this morning’s breakfast, but as it turns out… I beat myself to it. Ah well… it was delicious and at least this time I remembered to take photos before it was all gone! There’s no point repeating myself and reposting the recipe, so if you’re interested, you’ll find the recipe for Bistek Tagalog here. Bistek Tagalog is delicious any time of the day. Really. I served it silog-style (meaning with garlic rice and a fried egg) and if you want more info on that, you can check out the post I wrote on Tapsilog, which is the beef tapa version (click here for recipe).

 

 

Thankfully, I made a tart yesterday that I’d been meaning to blog about for a while now. This tart features leek, mushroom and Leffe Blond. It’s a recipe adapted from a ‘special’ that we had on one week while I was cheffing at The Belgian Beer Café in Sydney. I am not a fan of Belgian beers, but this tart is definitely all the tastier for the Leffe. The tart base suffered slightly as I had tried out these blind-baking beads which were utter rubbish and ended up sticking to and tearing off my pastry. Not happy, Jan. Not happy. All ended well, though and I even have photos from the last time I made them, which is a relief as I kinda, um, forgot to take photos of the end product this time. Whoops.

 

 

BELGIAN LEEK AND MUSHROOM TART

Ingredients

Savoury Shortcrust Pastry:

300g plain flour

180g butter (cut into smaller cubes)

2 tsp lime juice

1 egg yolk

Filling:

2 leeks (finely sliced)

10 large swiss brown/button mushrooms

230ml Leffe Blonde

2 tsp cumin powder

100ml brandy

1 tsp ground nutmeg

400ml thickened cream

3 eggs (whisked lightly)

chopped parsley

 

Method

Make the pastry first as it needs to rest and be blind baked

1. In a bowl, cut the butter into the flour using either a pastry blender or two regular table knives (one in each hand, cross hands and cut through the mixture, so that you’re uncrossing your arms in the same motion… makes sense?).

2. Once the mix has been cut, wash your hands in cool water. Sweeping your thumb back and forth across your fingers, rub the flour and the butter cubes together, so that you create a fine breadcrumb-like consistency.

3. Add the egg yolk and combine well. The pastry should be smooth and matte. If it’s slightly sticky, the pastry is either too warm or too wet. If it’s too warm, get it in the fridge to cool down right away. If it’s too wet, add a little flour. If the pastry is not holding together, add a little of the lime juice. If you still need more liquid after having added the juice, add a little cold water.

4. Form the dough into a smooth disc, wrap in cling wrap/plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 40 minutes. Set your oven to 180°C.

* If you haven’t already, this is a good time to prep the ingredients for your filling.

5. Take the pastry out of the fridge and let it soften slightly (otherwise it will simply ‘crack’ when you try to roll it). Then, roll it out on a cool, clean, lightly floured surface. You can also roll the pastry out between two sheets of baking paper if you prefer. Roll away from you and turn your pastry every couple of rolls to create an even and round shape.

6. Roll the pastry onto your rolling pin and roll it gently into your tart case (starting from the edge closest to you and rolling away). I like to rest it again at this point for about 10 minutes. Then, prick the base, add a layer of baking paper (press gently into edges) and top with rice or beans. Blind bake for 15 minutes with the baking paper and the rice/beans and then a further 10 – 15 minutes without them until lightly golden. Once the pastry is ready, leave the pastry to cool and turn the oven up to 225°C.

Time for the filling

1. Sauté the mushrooms in butter in a single layer. Put to one side.

2. Sweat the leeks in a large pan. Add the cumin and the mushrooms, turn up the heat and flambé with the brandy (watch those eyebrows!).

3. Add the Leffe Blonde and simmer gently until it has reduced by half.

4. Add the cream and the nutmeg. Simmer for a minute or two and then put aside to cool.

5. Once the mixture has cooled, add the parsley, the whisked eggs and season generously.

6. Pour the filling into the cooled tart case and back for 25 minutes or until the top feels set. If at any point your pastry starts to darken too much, you can wrap foil around the top of the crust to prevent it darkening any further.

Hope you like it!

 

N

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