Caramelised Baby Leek Spelt Flour Tarte Tatin

26 Feb

Baby Leek Tarte Tatin

I bought a bunch of these baby leeks at the farmer’s market and wanted to make something special with them rather than just chopping them into other things like I would normally. They are so much easier to peel and chop than normal onions and the flavour is mild and sweet. They also cook quicker. This is why they end up being ingredients in other dishes. I am intrinsically lazy and if I have leeks (or spring onions come to that) in the house the normal onions just sit there waiting.

Baby Leeks

Making a Tarte Tatin is not as scary as it sounds. You just have to be confident when you turn it out. And this one has none of the butter and sugar used to make the caramel that is usually abundant. I use honey and balsamic vinegar instead. You still get the nice sticky, sweet and caramelised effect that you need in a Tarte Tatin just fewer calories and less messing about. Yay.

Baby Leek Tarte Tatin

I used my olive oil spelt flour pastry (recipe here) for this tarte but you could use shop bought puff or shortcrust pastry if you like. I used about half of the pastry for this 8 inch tarte. Use the rest to make a quiche or empanadas.

You will need an ovenproof frying pan/skillet with a metal handle (plastic melts in the oven and gets messy). The amounts below are for my 8 inch/20 cm frying pan that serves 1 (or 2 at a push) with a nice salad. Whatever size you make you will need to fill the pan snugly with the leeks so adjust the amounts accordingly.

Caramelised Baby Leek Tarte Tatin Recipe

Serves 1-2. Vegetarian

  • about 250 g baby leeks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • dried thyme
  • balsamic or sherry vinegar syrup reduction (it comes in squeezy bottles)
  • a handful of breadcrumbs
  • finely grated manchego/parmesan
  • olive oil spelt flour pastry (or your choice of pastry)

Preheat the oven to 200 C. On a floured surface,  roll out the pastry to about 2 or 3 mm thick and cut out a circle about the same size as the top of the frying pan. Put in the fridge to rest.

Prepare the leeks by cutting off the dark green ends, cutting in half lengthwise and rinsing under the tap to remove any dirt hiding under the layers.

Put the olive oil in the frying pan/skillet and cover the base, round side down with a snug/tight even row of leeks. You can trim the leeks to fit the pan You want to fill any gaps as much as possible. Drizzle over the honey and balsamic vinegar syrup. Season well with thyme, salt & pepper and cook over a medium heat for a few minutes.

Sprinkle a handful of breadcrumbs and a little grated cheese all over the top of the leeks and remove from the heat.

Cover the leeks with the circle of pastry and tuck the edges down the inside of the pan encasing the leeks. Prick all over the top of the pastry with a sharp knife and bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on size) until the pastry is cooked.

Using oven gloves, remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. When ready to turn out, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Using oven gloves if still hot, place a large plate upside down on top of the pan and press down hard, then quickly and carefully flip the whole thing over so the pan is upside down and the tarte falls out onto the plate. Remove the pan and replace any leeks that may have fallen out of their place.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a simple green salad.

sCaramelised Baby Leek Tarte Tatin

The only thing to be scared of is picking up the hot pan without oven gloves. Don’t do it. It really hurts. But the tarte was worth it.


18 Responses to “Caramelised Baby Leek Spelt Flour Tarte Tatin”

  1. chefconnie February 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Wonderful recipe and beautiful picture. My mouth is watering…

  2. Lindsay February 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Ohhhh this looks so gorgeous!! I can’t wait to try a gluten-free version –you are inspiring me here!!

  3. Sonia February 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Hola Natalie! Una versión Tatin genial! Me llevo la idea de caramelizar con miel y balsámico…me parece mucho más saludable y un sabor muy original seguro..en casa los puerros nos encantan y tampoco usamos las cebollas…las cebolletas frescas y puerros por miles!! La masa también una delicia.

  4. Conor Bofin February 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Lovely. The leeks we get around here are usually huge and bitter like an old onion.
    I am jealous.

  5. frugalfeeding February 26, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Yummy – spelt… what a gorgeous tarte tatin!

  6. Eha February 27, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    [laughing!] Well I don’t bake and don’t usually have a tarte tatin on the one hand but love leeks, spelt flour, balsamic vinegar etc et al on the other! Hmmm, I think the second half wins and I just have to try 🙂 !

  7. musingmar February 27, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    A savoury tarte tatin – love it! Be careful with those hot pans; I’ve been there!

  8. Three Well Beings February 27, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    I don’t know if I’ve actually seen baby leeks, but this is such an appealing recipe, Natalie. I laugh at the idea that you see yourself as basically lazy. I sure don’t see you that way…your culinary adventures would tell me otherwise! 🙂

    • tony ward February 27, 2013 at 8:02 am #

      @ Three Well Beings, oh Natalie is really trust me…unless…..its something she really has an interest in and then its total, total involvement as is apparent from the blog. Lovely posting hija, will have a go at it now that my pastry making has been honed to perfection (tee hee) .xx

      • Three Well Beings February 27, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

        I think all artists can be a mess sometimes! LOL! I’m glad to know no one is perfect. Ha!

    • Natalie Ward February 27, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      You should see the mess in the kitcheh after my “culinary adventures” Debra. Then you would believe the lazy part!! My dad is right!!

  9. Tesney Ap February 27, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Gorgeous pictures. I really want to try this recipe.

  10. kellie@foodtoglow February 28, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Love the look and sound of this Natalie. My very kind neighbour has a brilliantly productive vegetable allotment (with a view of Edinburgh Castle!), and he often brings me produce from his patch. I will ask him to save me some baby leeks when they appear. RIght now he is bringing me loads of onions that he has had drying in his garage (!), but like you I prefer the easy, less eye-watering option of leeks. Plus they are easier for my patients on chemo to digest for some reason. I love your healthier take of a rather decadent dish. Bookmarking, my dear!

  11. Tammy March 2, 2013 at 3:05 am #

    Leek season is one of my favorite and also one of the best values in our CSA. Will hold on to this one for when they arrive!

  12. Alli@peasepudding March 3, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Leaks are in season here,Mathis would be a nice addition to my market goodies!

    • Natalie Ward March 3, 2013 at 11:35 am #

      Definitely they would work, I did one with cherry tomatoes in the summer which was really lovely too. I would love to see all your gorgeous goodies at the market. Maybe you could put some pics on your blog, pleaaaaaase!!! 😉

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    what precisely I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to
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  1. Shallot Tarte Tatin Recipe – SORTED | Musings of a Mild Mannered Man - March 19, 2013

    […] Caramelised Baby Leek Spelt Flour Tarte Tatin ( […]

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