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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Leek and Canadian Bacon Tarte

As I said, sometimes I go back to my Swiss roots and I make something that is typically Swiss. This time I decided to give it my own little twist. It is pretty usual in northern Switzerland to have meatless meals on Fridays. A lot of people in Schaffhausen, where I am from, eat a variety of savory or sweet tartes. they can be eaten warm or cold and almost every bakery and grocery store with a deli counter will offer a variety of them.

In Schaffhausen, the most famous and traditional one is what is called "Schaffhauser Boelle Tuenne", which means "Onion Tarte from Schaffhausen" its a very traditional food staple. I usually make this one from time to time, but I had some leeks and some Canadian Bacon I didn't want to go to waste so I used them instead of just using onions.

The Swiss CookbookThe base recipe comes out of "The Swiss Cookbook" by Betty Bossi, but lots of Swiss Cookbooks will have a basic crust recipe in them. It's fast, easy and anyone has the ingredients in their fridge and pantry.

Here is what you need for the crust:

200 g flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 75 g butter cut in cubes, 100 ml water

Mix flour and salt in a bowl, add the butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers until you have small crumbles (kinda looking like parmesan crumbs), then add the water and work it quickly into a soft dough (don't knead), flatten it out a little, cover it and let it rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Once the dough is cool, take it out of the fridge and with a rolling pin , roll it to an about 3 mm thick round. Transfer into a round tart pan , and prick the crust all over with a fork, put back into the fridge for about 15 min.

Prepare the filling. I used

3 stalks of leeks (cut in thin rings), 2 thick slices of Canadian bacon (cut in small cubes). To do this I use either a large Chef's Knife or a Utility Knife from the Jamie Oliver Collection. These knives are super sharp (be careful) and balance perfect in your hand, which is very important when you are working in the kitchen.

For the custard mix 100 ml milk, 100 ml cream, 1 large egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika and I added some fresh grated parmesan.

Take the crust out of the fridge and evenly spread leeks and bacon on the crust, then pour the custard mix evenly over the filling. Bake in the lower half of a preheated (425 Degrees)  for about 30 min.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly and serve warm with a nice green or mixed salad and a nice glass of white wine. A Riesling or Chardonnay will work very well!

Bon Appetit!

You can use the same crust recipe to make a sweet tart as well. For example with apples, apricots or plums. after cooling the crust in the fridge, sprinkle it with ground almonds or hazelnuts.

Then layer fruit in a shingle pattern on the crust until covered, mix the custard, but instead of all the spice, mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar and maybe some vanilla flavor or cinnamon, pour the mixture over the fruit and bake as above adding about 10 minutes of baking time to soften the fruit.


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