I tried a few recipes for shortcrust pastry in my days, and I have come to the conclusion that, if there is no really good reason, I will rely on the four recipes for shortcrust pastry described in Michel Roux’s book Pastry. The same was with yesterday’s dinner. The recipe I looked at, from the Reader’s Digest book I mentioned before, sounded delicious, but had some nonsense recipe for shortcrust pastry with sunflower oil. I decided to pass on the innovativeness, and instead used the recipe for pate brisee, a delicate and crumbly pastry that can be used both in sweet and savoury recipes.
I must admit, it was a mistake to attempt this on a weeknight, as pastry simply takes time to chill, fill, and bake, but the boyfriend stoically handled the wait, without complaining. At all.
We were in a rush to eat, so the only photo I have is of the dish still in the tin. I will make this again, no doubt, and I would have no shame to present this to my guests.
With the amount of pastry that is leftover, you can line three small tart tins, bake them, fill them with some pastry cream, and top them with fruit.
250 g plain flour
150 g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
1 tsp fine salt
pinch of caster sugar
1 tbsp cold milk
Potato and leek filling
350g waxy new potatoes
250 g leek, cut into 1 cm slices
55 g gruyere cheese, grated
handful of rocket leaves
150 mL milk
salt and pepper
1. To make the pastry, put the butter, salt, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a KitchenAid fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and the milk, and mix just until the mixture combines. Roll it out between two sheets of baking paper and line a 20 cm round, loose bottomed, fluted flan tin. Leave in the fridge to chill.
2. While the pastry is chilling, make the filling. Boil the potatoes for about 15 min, or until tender. Boil the leek for about 5-10 min, until tender. Drain thoroughly. Cut potatoes into thick slices and mix with leek, half of the cheese, and plenty of salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place a baking sheet in the oven.
4. Lightly beat the eggs together in a jug. Heat the milk to just below the boiling point (microwaving is OK) and slowly add to the egg mixture, while constantly mixing.
5. Put the remaining cheese on the bottom of the pastry shell, add half of the potato and leek mixture, top with rocket, and then add the remaining leek and potato mixture.
5. Place the tin on the hot baking sheet and carefully pour the warm egg custard into the pastry case. Bake for 10 min, then reduce the oven temperature to 180 C. Bake for a further 30 – 35 min (or longer) until the filling is set and the pastry is golden brown. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with some baked Ticino sausage on the side.