Flamiche with Leeks and Brie + Easter Brunch

When you’re reading this, I’ll be packing for my patisserie trip to Paris! I’m so excited already. Of course I will document the trip carefully! Another French recipe today, to get in the mood. I’ve been so busy with uni lately that I haven’t gotten around to posting about Easter Brunch yet! We had brunch on Easter Monday, as my mom had to work on Sunday. This was only more convenient for me because it meant I had plenty of time to plan ahead and make this bake-a-palooza a success. I made the currant buns ahead and froze them on friday, then on the sunday I made the fougasses, the brioche dough and the shortcrust pastry for the flamiche of which I will share the recipe in this post. I got up at 9 on monday and baked everything left on the list. After all that I sure was hungry! 
Luckily, everything I made was really yummy and so everyone could have their fill. I had actually attempted to plait my brioche. The plaiting went well – but once the dough had risen again and had been baked the bread looked more like a monstrocity than a neat plait. So I sliced it up for the picture! Everything’s in the details! The recipe for the flamiche and the brioche came from Paul Hollywood’s book How to Bake which has some neat recipes which aren’t too difficult but really tasty. I’d actually expected it to be a bit bland, what with all the leek, but it was suprisingly hearty. And absolutely perfect for brunch! I imagine it would go over well at a picknick as well. Oh I wish more of my friends lived in the vicinity so I could organize picknicks all the time, eating outside is just the BEST. Do you like having picknicks? Or does the wildlife put you off it?

Flamiche with Leeks and Brie Recipe

Tools: a 23cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin

Shortcrust Pastry:

250   grams plain flour
pinch of salt
125   grams unsalted butter, very cold, diced
2      medium egg yolks
50     ml water

1      medium egg + a splash of milk for egg-wash

25   grams unsalted butter
400  grams leeks, washed and sliced
4     medium egg yolks
300  ml double cream
pinch of nutmeg
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
150 grams brie (or other well-flavoured cheese)

1. Make the pastry.
To make the pastry by hand: mix the flour and salt in a bowl and rub the (cold) butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg-yolk and, while mixing with your hands or fork, add the water until the mixture comes together into a dough. 

To make the pastry in a food processor: add the flour, salt and butter to the bowl of the food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like fine breadcrums. Add the egg yolk, and while the machine is running slowly add the water until the mixture comes together into a dough. 

Shape the dough into a ball, making sure not to overwork the dough. Flatten the ball into a disc shape, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 2 hours. 

2. Grease and flour the tart tin. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

3. Once chilled, roll the pastry out onto a lightly floured working surface into a large round. Line the tin with the pastry, but don’t cut away the excess pastry. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork, line the base with baking parchment and fill with baking beans/rice/dry beans. Blind bake the base in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then lift the baking parchment and baking beans out of the case, brush the base with the egg-wash and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Lower the temperature to 180C/360F.

4. Make the filling. Heat the butter in a large frying pan, add the leeks and sauté for 8-10 minutes. Take off the heat. Mix the egg yolks, nutmeg, cream, pepper and salt in a bowl. Slice the brie thinly.

5. Spoon the leeks over the cooled pastry case, then pour the egg mixture over the leeks. Place the slices of brie on top.

6. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a good golden brown on top and set in the centre. You can eat the flamiche warm or cool!

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