Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leek and Sweet Pea Tartlets

These cute tartlets were a hit with my family. The different flavors--tarragon and goat cheese--complimented each other well. I instantly liked them. My sister told me, "I can't decide if I really like them, or really hate them," but she finally decided that they were very good. The overall composition reminded me of a quiche, but was not quite as egg-y. The recipe was very easy to make, and it is very easy to substitute ingredients with what you have on hand. With the exception of the cheese, you probably have ingredients to make a variation of these in your kitchen right now.

In a nutshell, you saute the leeks, add the peas and herbs, stir in the cheese and then fill your already-baked tartlet shells and bake until done. Simple as pie...or tartlets.

I did not have all of the called for ingredients and utensils on hand, so I had fun improvising. My substitutions were green onions for leeks, marjoram for tarragon, and I used a muffin tin instead of actual tartlet pans. I have since made them with the tarragon, and I think both herbs work equally well in this recipe.

What I liked about the presentation is that it was so adaptable to the tools you have on hand. I have used round tartlet pans as well as muffin tins, and both have turned out very cute. For a smaller version to bring to parties, a mini muffin tin would be ideal.

Overall, this was an excellent recipe. The tartlets were easy to make, cute, and very tasty. This recipe is a perfect addition to brunch or afternoon tea. I'll be making these again soon.

Recipe from
Tea Time Magazine May/June 2010 issue

Sweet Pea and Leek Tartlets
Yield: 12 tartlets
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Cool: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 cup baby sweet peas
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 (4-ounce) package soft goat cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 1/2 (15-ounce) packages refrigerated pie crusts (3 sheets)
Garnish: fresh tarragon sprigs

  1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add leeks. Cook until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Add peas, tarragon, and parsley. Cook until heated through 3 to 4 minutes. Add goat cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Add eggs to cooled leek mixture, gently whisking until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Spray 12 (4 1/2-x-2 1/2-inch) rectangular tart pans with removable bottoms with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  5. Place pie crusts on a lightly floured surface and roll each into a 12-inch round. Cut each crust into 4 (6 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch) rectangles, re-rolling scraps as necessary but no more than twice.
  6. Place dough rectangles in tartlet pans, pressing firmly into bottoms and up sides. Lightly prick bottoms several times with a fork.
  7. Bake until edges are just golden, approximately 10 minutes.
  8. Divide leek filling evenly among tartlet shells.
  9. Bake until centers are set, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes.
  10. Garnish with a sprig of tarragon, if desired.

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