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Leek and Bacon Tarts Recipe

This is a very good, but quite filling, starter – which, if dressed up with a salad should be ideal for a light lunch.

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For 4 people:

- Half a batch of Garlic and Sherry Pastry (q.v.)
- 1 lb/450gr Leeks, with the root and the dark green top removed
- 3 oz/90gr of Unsmoked Streaky Bacon, with the rind removed
- 8 fl oz/230ml Single Cream
- 2 oz/60gr freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 large or 2 medium Egg Yolks
- 1 oz/30gr Butter
- Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper

Equipment needed:

- 4 individual loose-bottomed tart tins
- 4 pieces of tin foil (big enough to more than cover each tart)
- Some uncooked rice to hold the tin foil in the tins (this can be re-used)


1. Slice the leeks into thin rings of about 1/8th of an inch/30mm, and wash them carefully.
2. Blanch them in unsalted boiling water for 3 minutes, strain and refresh them under very cold running water, to set their colour. Shake, then squeeze them dry.
3. Cut the bacon into ½ ins/1cm pieces and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, remove the bacon squeezing out any surplus fat (which should be kept in the fridge for your next fry-up) and set aside.
4. Mix together the leeks (loosening them up a little), bacon, egg yolk, a little salt and freshly-ground black pepper, plus half the cheese – chill until required.
5. Prepare the tart pastry tins – butter the tart tins, then roll out the pastry thinly, and line the tins with the pastry, pushing it down carefully into the corners. Any holes that accidentally can be patched with little books of pastry.
6. Prick all over the bases with a fork and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes (overnight if need be).
7. Heat the oven to Gas 6, 400ºF, 200ºC.
8. Fill the tarts (which should still be in their tins) with the leek mixture, being careful not to spill any – if it overflows, the tarts can become stuck in their tins.
9. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and dot with butter.
10. Bake for 15 minutes.

To serve: allow to cool slightly, then remove the tarts from their tins. A little salad decoration sets them off well.

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