This classic French dish is a speciality of Picardy in Northern France and this recipe is Simon Hopkinson’s. It should be made with a brioche style pastry, but ready made and ready rolled sheets of puff pastry work very well and make this a quick and easy dish. The secret of getting a good rise and a light crisp pastry is to pre- heat the baking tray in the hot oven first. This really kick-starts the baking process and results in a pie which is mouth- wateringly crisp on the outside and lusciously fragrant with creamy leeks and nutmeg on the inside.
The ready rolled sheets of puff pastry I bought weighed 320 g and were big enough to make a pie which would feed 3-4 persons. The amount of leeks in the recipe below would make two pies and would require 2 x 320g packs of pastry.
3 oz /75g butter
2lb/900gm trimmed leeks
Salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
1 lb/450gm puff pastry
5-6 tbsp double cream
1 beaten egg
- Wash, slice and wash the leeks again. Drain well.
- Melt the butter in a big pan. Add the leeks and cook gently until really soft.
- Season well, add the cream and allow to cook quite fast for a couple of minutes. The mixture should be moist, but not too runny.
- Leave until cool.
- Turn the oven to 425 F/ 220 C or gas mark 7.
- Place a flat baking tray in the oven to get hot.
- Unwrap the ready made pastry rolls and lay flat. Cut two circles from each piece. I used a medium sized side- plate as a template. If the pastry is slightly too short then use the off cuts to complete the circle
- Place the circles which make the bottom of the flamiche onto some baking parchment. This will enable you to lift it onto the hot baking tray.
- With a pastry brush, place beaten egg around the outer rim of the pastry bases.
- Place the leek mixture in the centre and place a pastry circle on the top.
- Press down the edges of the top pastry circle onto the bottom one.
- Then, taking the edge of a knife, knock up the edges of the pie with the blade.
- Decorate with the tines of a fork.
- Cut a slit in the top of the flamiche (being careful not to cut through the bottom layer of pastry).
- Decorate if you would like to and then brush the whole pie with egg.
- Lift the flamiche onto the hot baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool a little and serve with green leaf and herb salad.