Here we use two types of cheese: Cave-Aged Farmhouse Cheddar for mellow flavour, and mozzarella for squidginess when melted. The smoky flavour of green peppercorns goes well with leeks and counteracts the richness of the cheese.
Makes one 30-cm square tart, serves 6–8 as a snack.
Recipe ©Christine McFadden 2016
- 500g Short-crust pastry ready-made
- 160g Mozzarella (for baking), coarsely grated
- 1.5 tsp Dried green peppercorns lightly crushed
- 3 Small leeks halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- 75g Pancetta diced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- Sea salt
- 1 Beaten egg yolk to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Line a baking sheet with silicon or non-stick parchment.
- Thinly roll out the pastry on a floured surface to form a 32-cm square. Trim the edges neatly. Carefully drape over a rolling pin and place on the baking sheet.
- In a bowl, combine the Cheddar and about half the mozzarella, mixing well.
- Leaving a 2-cm border all round, scatter the combined cheeses evenly over the pastry.
- Sprinkle with the peppercorns and a little salt, bearing in mind the saltiness of the pancetta.
- Scatter the leeks, pancetta and thyme leaves over the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella evenly over the top.
- Fold the pastry edges over the topping. Brush with beaten egg, especially at the corners to stick the overlapping edges together.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through, until the pastry is golden and the leeks look slightly charred. Serve hot or warm.