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Salmon and leek pie

leeks


After being given a piece of salmon almost twice the size I asked for, I was left with a bit that was not enough for two people when eaten in the usual way as fried/baked fillets. This recipe came about as a result of trying to stretch a small piece of fish to feed two, but it was very successful. For the supper club, I plan to make individual pies in a muffin tin as it gets a bit messy once you cut into it.

 

Serves 4 as a light lunch with salad

 

150g puff pastry
300g fresh salmon fillet, skinned and boned
4 medium leeks, trimmed, split down the middle and cut into 1cm thick half moons
2 eggs
2 tbsp crème fraîche
a little grated parmesan
a knob of butter

 

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

 

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a gentle heat and add the leeks. Leave them to soften, but don't let them colour - a matter of 10-15 minutes. Stir from time to time to coat the leeks well in the butter.

 

Meanwhile, grease a 20cm tart tin and line the bottom with baking paper. If, like me, you don't have a spring-loaded tin with removable base, you might want to take some added measures* making it easier to lift your tart out of the tin without it collapsing.

 

Roll out the pastry and lay it in the baking tin. Press down in the corners and stretch it all the way up the edges of the tin to the top so it lines the whole tin, but be careful not to tear it.

 

When the leeks have softened, take them off the heat and allow them to cool to room temperature. Cut the salmon into chunks and mix with the leeks. Spoon into the pastry case in the baking tin, making sure the chunks of salmon are well distributed throughout the tart

 

Whisk together the eggs and crème fraîche until well mixed. Pour slowly over the leeks and salmon, allowing the liquid to trickle down to the bottom of the pie. Season (I find this needs quite a lot of salt), grate a little parmesan over the top and bake in the over for about 30 minutes, until the liquid eggs have set and the edges of the pastry are crisp and brown.

 

Turn out of the tin, cut into slices and serve with a green salad (I like rocket). It can be eaten hot, straight from the oven, or allowed to cool to room temperature.

 

------------------

*This is what I do to make it easier to remove cakes, pies and tarts from their baking tins.

 

Grease the sides and base of the baking tin with butter.

 

Lay out a sheet of baking paper. Draw around the base of the baking tin and cut out this circle. Place the circle in the base of the tin, and use a little more butter to lightly grease the top side of the baking paper circle.

 

Cut two long, wide strips of baking paper. They should be at least 4 cm wide, and the length should be the diameter of the tin, plus twice the height of the sides, plus 10 cm, or so.

 

Look down on your baking tin from above and imagine the circle is a clockface. Lay one strip of paper from 12 to 6 and from 3 to 9, so they cut the circle in quarters. The strips of paper should disect the base, run up both sides of the tin and protude several centimetres on each side.

 

When your pie is cooked, enlist a helper. You should each hold one protuding end of paper in each hand and lift upwards. The pie should rise out of the tin easily and you can lower it onto the serving plate. Then simply tug gently on one end of each paper strip to remove it.

 

Presto! Your pie should be intact and beautifully presented on the serving plate, ready to slice.


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