Thursday, March 10, 2011

Leek Tart Almost Like Banitsa

Banitsa is the traditional Bulgarian pastry.... filo dough filled with spinach, cheese, apple, pumpkin, peppery ground beef.....but my favorite has always been leek and cheese. I decided to put the filling in a tart shell ( I'm not the best at working with filo dough, although I can do it). A store bought pie dough will absolutely work with this.

For the tart shell:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 8 ounce stick of cold butter cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
3 - 4 Tbl half and half
Mix the flour and salt together and place in the bowl of a food processor.  Add the butter and pulse about 8 times. Add the half and half, one Tbl at a time and pulse until you can form a ball for rolling. Roll the dough into a round large enough for a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Lightly spray the pan with cooking oil and press the rolled round in.  Bake the tart shell for 10 minutes at 400F. Remove from the oven and set aside while preparing the filling.

Leek filling:
3 1/2 cups leeks ( white and light green part) which have been quartered lengthwise and then thinly sliced into quarter moons.
4 Tbl butter
2 cups cottage cheese set in a colander and thoroughly drained of all liquid
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese ( preferably Bulgarian)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
Saute the leeks in the butter until soft and fragrant,  remove to a medium mixing bowl and let cool.
Stir the remaining ingredients into the cooled leeks and thoroughly combine.
Pour the mixture into the tart shell and bake 40 to 50 minutes at 325F.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

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