La Flamiche aux Poireaux

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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


  1. Wash, slice and wash the leeks again. Drain well.
  2. Melt the butter in a big pan. Add the leeks and cook gently until really soft.
  3. 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.
  4. Leave until cool.
  5. Turn the oven to 425 F/ 220 C or gas mark 7.
  6. Place a flat baking tray in the oven to get hot.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. With a pastry brush, place beaten egg around the outer rim of the pastry bases.
  10. Place the leek mixture in the centre and place a pastry circle on the top.
  11. Press down the edges of the top pastry circle onto the bottom one.
  12. Then, taking the edge of a knife, knock up the edges of the pie with the blade.
  13. Decorate with the tines of a fork.
  14. Cut a slit in the top of the flamiche (being careful not to cut through the bottom layer of pastry).
  15. Decorate if you would like to and then brush the whole pie with egg.
  16. Lift the flamiche onto the hot baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  17. Allow to cool a little and serve with green leaf and herb salad.

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