1 pack bought ready-rolled shortcrust pastry.
4 eggs, lightly beaten.
6 leeks, trimmed, sliced and rings separated.
125g ham, shredded (or 2 fish fillets).
4-5 tablespoons double cream.
Salt and pepper.
(2 teaspoons horseradish sauce for fish variation).
Don’t bother with the palaver of baking paper and beans when baking blind. Simply fit the pastry to the tin, trim and then prick the bottom with a fork. Cover all the pastry (edges included) with a sheet of cooking foil. Press down firmly to both shape the pastry to the tin and provide masking from the heat.
Cook for 10-12 minutes at 180C/Gas 4 before removing the foil.
My tip for avoiding a soggy bottom is to paint the inside of the tart pastry with some of the beaten egg and then return to the oven for about three minutes. Then leave the pastry case to rest for an hour or so.
While the case is cooling and firming, sweat the leeks in a little water in the microwave and then cool.
Cover the base of the tart with the shredded ham and top with the leeks.
Beat the cream into the remaining eggs and season before pouring into the tart.
Place the tart back in the oven at the same temperature for 30 minutes until the filling is gently firming to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and firm before serving.
For a fishy alternative:
2 fillets of pollock or other white fish.
2 teaspoons horseradish sauce.
Cook the fish in the microwave on no more than medium power for a couple of minutes until feeling warm to touch.
Line the bottom of the cooked pastry case with the flaked fish instead of the ham.
Top with the leek.
Add the horseradish sauce to the egg and cream mix before filling the tart and cooking as above.