Shortcut pastry
250g standard flour, plus extra for dusting
10g sugar
1 free-range organic egg
5g salt
160g butter, diced and slightly softened
1 tbsp milk

Leek base
3 large or 6 medium leeks
oil, for cooking
1 heaped tbsp butter
2 tbsp standard flour

Leek filling
450g cooked-down leek base, no warmer
than room temperature
4 large free-range organic eggs
250g cream
approx. 70g grated Karikaas vintage Gouda


Start the pastry 1–2 days before you want to bake the tart. Place flour on the work surface and make a well in the centre. Put sugar, egg, salt and diced butter into the well and rub in with the fingertips of one hand, drawing the flour into the well with the other hand.

When everything is almost completely mixed, add milk and knead pastry 2–3 times with the heel of your hand to make it smooth, but do not overwork it. Flatten pastry into a tight disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or for 8–10 hours) to rest.

Remove pastry from the refrigerator and leave it on the bench for 5 minutes. Flour the bench, place the pastry disc on the flour and sprinkle with a little more flour. Using a rolling pin, hit the pastry a few times to make it supple, turning it as you go — this helps you roll it out while still keeping the dough cold. Roll the pastry into a round approximately 3mm thick and 34–36cm across. (You need the pastry to be around 6cm wider all round than the 28–30cm tin you will be using.) To check whether it is wide enough, place the tin in the middle of the pastry. It is best to use a tin with a removable base.

Spray the tin with cooking oil. Roll the pastry up on the rolling pin and gently unroll it over the tin. You want it as slack as possible to allow for shrinkage. Mould pastry into tin loosely and gently, then run the rolling pin over the top of the tin to cut off excess pastry. Finish moulding it with your fingertips until it’s nicely fitted into the tin. Prick the pastry case all over with a fork. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or for 8–10 hours) to rest.

For the leek base, cut the white end off each leek (discard the green), cut lengthways and give the end a wash to get the dirt out. Shake off excess water; you don’t want leeks to stew when cooking them. Thinly slice the leeks.

Heat a pot over medium-low heat until hot and add some oil, then add chopped leeks and cook them until they start to soften, stirring regularly.

Add butter, a good pinch of salt and a little ground black pepper. Cook leeks down for 15–20 minutes, or until soft in the mouth and not stringy, and the juices have evaporated. Add flour and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. This stops any more juice leaching out. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

While the leeks are cooking, preheat oven to 180°C. Line the chilled pastry case with baking paper, and add rice on top to hold the pastry down.

Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove rice and baking paper and continue to bake until pastry is light golden and crunchy with no transparent parts, about 5–6 minutes.

Weigh out 450g of cooled leek base into a bowl, and mix in eggs and cream. Season with plenty of flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour into baked pastry case and smooth out. Top with grated Gouda and bake for 20 minutes, until golden, just set and not puffed up.

Slice when cold and reheat slices at 200deg C for about 6 minutes.


Recipes reproduced with kind permission from New Zealand Restaurant Cookbook by Delaney Mes. Photography by Liz Clarkson. Published by Penguin NZ.

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