Baking Starters


July 17, 2015

Recipe & words: Gretchen Lowe
Styling: Amber Armitage
Photography: Manja Wachsmuth
Featured: Homestyle Magazine

There is no flavour combination quite like that of earthy mushrooms, nutty cheese and sweet leeks. This tart is a great make-ahead option for an effortless brunch, but it’s so versatile that you can also serve it for lunch or dinner with a buttery white wine and mixed tender greens.

Serves 8


1 cup plain flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
Large pinch  sea salt
165g cold butter, cubed
3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
4-5 tablespoons ice water


85g butter
3 leeks, sliced
½ tbsp plain flour
300ml milk
200ml cream
2 eggs
4 egg yolks, beaten together with the other eggs
100g Gruyère, grated
1 tsp English mustard

For the pastry, process the flours and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter and thyme and process another 10 seconds until resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the processor running, gradually pour the ice water until the dough just begins to hold together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour.

Heat oven to 180°C. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and roll it into a 28cm round. Lay the dough into a 26 cm round tart pan with removable bottom, pressing into the bottom and up the sides trimming excess dough. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Line the tart shell with baking paper and baking beans. Blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and return to oven for 10 minutes.

For the filling, heat the butter in a pan and cook the leeks for 25 mins, stirring occasionally, until they soften.

Stir in the flour, cook for 3-4 mins, stirring, then stir in the milk and cream. Once smooth, simmer for 15 mins to cook out the flour. Season well, then cool slightly. Stir the eggs and egg yolks into the mix, along with the grated cheese and the mustard. Bake for 25 minutes at 190°C

Heat a frypan and cook the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and arrange the mushrooms artistically on top. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the filling is fully set and golden.

A wonderful recipe from my days at Homestyle. Thanks to the talented Manja Wachsmuth for her photography and Amber Armitage for help with food styling. x

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