Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Favourite Recipes: Gordon Ramsay's Cheese and Leek Quiche

Gordon Ramsay is in Auckland, but unfortunately, we missed his tableware launch at Smith and Caughey's yesterday.  Apparently though, he advised a teenager that he shouldn't get a girlfriend, because they steal all your recipes.  Well, I have stolen a fantastic recipe of Gordon's, which appeared on the New York Times website, but no longer seems to be available.  I used up some fresh goat's cheese that was starting to go mouldy, rather than the cheeses he suggested, and the quiche was just amazing. If you don't have a food processor, I recommend grating the cold butter.

Beautifully soft, light and delicate quiche.

Cheese and Leek Quiche
by Gordon Ramsay
Retrieved from on 1 July 2011

Serves 6-8

The quiche we enjoyed in Champagne was made with Chaource, a speciality cheese from the region that’s difficult to find here, so instead I’ve used Reblochon, an unpasteurised cheese from the Haute-Savoie region. Its creamy, nutty flavour goes well with the leeks.

For the shortcrust pastry

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp fine sea salt
140g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 Tbsp ice-cold water

For the filling

20g butter
300g leeks, trimmed, and white part finely sliced
Few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
200mlL double cream
200m full-fat milk
4 Tbsp grated parmesan
150g Reblochon, rind removed


  1. Make the pastry: put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and whiz for 10 seconds until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Tip the mixture into a bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of ice-cold water and stir the mixture with a knife. Add another tablespoon of water if the mixture is too dry and does not come together. (Don’t add too much water because a crumbly pastry results in a lighter crust.) Press the mixture into a dough and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry thinly and use to line a deep 20cm tart tin with a removable base, leaving the excess pastry overhanging the sides of the tin. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and prick lightly with a metal skewer or fork. Chill for 20 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan and add the leeks, thyme and seasoning. Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and translucent. Leave to cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Line the tart shell with foil and baking beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and lining and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden and there is no greyness left. Using a small sharp knife, trim off the excess pastry level to the top of the tin. Reduce the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
  6. Whisk together the eggs and the yolks followed by the cream and milk. Strain into a jug and stir in the parmesan. Season with the salt and black pepper.
  7. Spread the softened leeks over the base of the tart. Cut or tear the cheese into small pieces and scatter all over the leeks. Pour in enough of the egg and cream mixture to fill the pastry case to the rim. (To make it easier, half fill the tart and place on the bottom shelf of the oven. Pull the shelf out halfway, making sure the tart is still level, and pour in the rest of the filling.) Bake for 35-45 minutes until the quiche is set and golden on top. It should still have a slight wobble in the middle. Leave to cool slightly before serving.
The first time I made this, I wondered why the pastry was baked with overhanging edges.  Surely it is easier to cut while it is still raw?  I think I now have the answer though: it stops the edges from caving in or shrinking away from the tin, and it means the bits you cut off are golden and crisp (yummy butteriness to munch on while you wait).

It's tempting to cut back on the chilling time, or the coldness of the water added to the pastry, but from what I've read, it's important that everything is kept cold to produce a flaky pastry.  According to Shirley O. Corriher in her book Cookwise, "a fat must remain solid in the hot oven long enough for the dough on either side of it to begin to set.[...] Butter must be very cold going into the oven to hold up long enough."  Letting the dough rest in the refrigerator also helps to "relax any gluten that you developed in pushing and pulling the crust into shape."

Imagine my surprise, then, to see that you can make a good tart shell using melted butter, and some people even prefer an oil pastry over a cold butter pastry!  No chilling required either.

I have made Gordon's quiche a couple of times now, and each time I was surprised by how great it tasted. I love the recipe the way it is, but I have to say I am tempted to try these other pastries out too (minus the sugar, of course).  In the interest of my waistline, this won't be happening just yet.  I'm too busy enjoying the tried and true.


  1. Bookmarked!! This sounds absolutely delish. tbh how can it not be with cheese, leeks, cream, time and flakey pastry right? Pretty much a quiche made with a few of my favorite things! Thanks sooooo much for sharing the recipe! xox

  2. Thanks. Hope you enjoy it. Would love to know what you think. :)


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