Posted on | January 1, 2012 | 11 Comments
On New Year’s Eve I spent the day in the kitchen cooking wintry treats. For lunch, we had Martha’s Alsatian Potato Pie featured in her cookbook, New Pies & Tarts. I spotted a similar version in Nigel Slater’s, Tender. In Slater’s version (click for preview of recipe) he uses cheddar and crème fraîche rather then Gruyere and cream. For dessert I made La Tartine Gourmande’s Petits Pots de Crème in vanilla and chocolate! So good!
This tart is perfect for a cold winter day. We haven’t had any snow but a few raw days that remind us it’s surely around the corner. Hearty potatoes pair well with leeks and warms your bones on days it seems impossible to break the chill.
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Alsatian Potato Pie.
3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup heavy cream
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium leek, white and light-green parts only (I used two and will probably use 3-4 next time)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg yolk
1 (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, (such as Dufour), thawed
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 1/2 cups grated Comte or Gruyere cheese
Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add a pinch of salt; cook until just tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain. Mash and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cream, the garlic, and nutmeg to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook mixture until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
And one more pan to clean; which makes me bonkers! Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Divide thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Mine was square so I kept it’s square shape. Martha made hers into a long rectangle.
Whisk together 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of cream. You’ll use this to seal the pastry and create a glaze over the top.
Scatter the mashed potatoes on the pastry, then layer with leek and Gruyere making sure to leave a 1/4″ inch border. Photos below. I was able to do two layers; 1. potato/leek/cheese/ 2. potato/cheese. I wish I had cooked more leeks because my second layer lacked leeks. Yes, I could have used less leek in the first layer but I’m my taste buds are telling me the leekier the better! Top with the other piece of thawed pastry. Crimp the edges and brush with egg wash.
Make a few slits in the top of the tart (you’ll pour the heavy cream mixture in the slits during the cooking process.) Stick the tart in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove the tart from the fridge and place in the preheat oven to cook for 35 minutes or until the tart is golden brown and puff. Remove the tart and pour the reduced cream mixture into the slits taking care and allowing the cream so soak in. Place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad.
Scatter potato onto puff pastry.
Add cooked leeks.
Grate Gruyere over leeks.
Add more potato.
Add more Gruyere over potato.
Top with puff pastry and seal.
Out of the oven.
Serve with a light green salad for lunch, brunch or dinner.