LEEK, THYME AND GOAT’S CHEESE TARTE TARTIN
Preparation time 15 mins plus resting time
Cooking time 50 mins Serves 4-5
6-7 medium leeks
160g unsalted butter
30ml extra virgin olive oil Sea-salt flakes
3 heaped Tbsp caster sugar
2 Tbsp water
30ml sherry vinegar
Freshly ground pepper, to season 6 sprigs thyme (with flowers, if able) 2 Tbsp currants
1 sheet puff pastry, chilled
120g ash goat’s cheese
4 sprigs tarragon
30ml vincotto or balsamic
glaze, to drizzle
STEP 1 Preheat oven to 210°C fan-forced (230°C conventional). Peel off outer layer of leeks and wash well to remove dirt and grit. Slice white and light green parts only into 4cm rounds, discarding tough darker green half. STEP 2 Put 40g of the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle salt around pan and stand leek pieces, cut end down, in pan. Cook, not moving, for 3-4 minutes, to colour and caramelise. Using tongs, turn leeks over and add another 40g of the butter to pan. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes. You want them to soften, but not collapse.
STEP 3 Remove pan from heat. Put sugar and water in a 20cm round, heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan over low heat to dissolve sugar. Once dissolved, turn heat up to medium and cook, shaking occasionally, until syrup thickens and is a rich golden colour, taking care not to burn it.
STEP 4 Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and remaining butter. Add 1/2 tsp salt and season with pepper. Lay thyme in caramel, then sprinkle over currants. Arrange leeks on cut ends to fit snugly in caramel, leaving no gaps.
STEP 5 Cut a circle of pastry about 2cm larger than diameter of frying pan. You may need to gently roll pastry out a little to ensure overhang. Lay pastry over leeks and tuck edges in. Using a sharp knife, pierce a few slits in pastry top to release steam.
STEP 6 Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 170°C fan-forced (190°C conventional). Bake for a further 25 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes.
STEP 7 Put a plate, slightly larger than frying pan, on top and carefully invert tarte Tatin. Crumble over goat’s cheese and drizzle with vincotto. Serve immediately.