Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Apple Leek Tart #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: You may have noticed recently that I’m on a puff pastry kick. It’s yummy stuff, easy to work with, and it produces great visuals. Plus, I had a handful of coupons for the Pepperidge Farm frozen stuff and stumbled into a sale. Thus are obsessions nurtured.

A couple of Sundays ago, I had the idea for this tart, using only ingredients we had on hand. Emboldened by the success of the plum tart a few weeks back, I didn’t search out a recipe, creating this myself. So if you want to use what you have on hand, consider yourself free to vary it any way you’d like!

A note about the spices: I was given a box of blends from World Spice Merchants, the fabulous shop in Seattle just below the Pike Place Market that so influences my Spice Shop mysteries. I wanted something with an earthy, fall-like taste, a bit of a kick, and maybe a hint of cinnamon, which pairs so nicely with both onions and apples. So I started opening jars, sniffing, and sticking in a finger. I settled on Besar, also known as bzar, from Emirati cuisine, which Amanda Bevill, owner of World Spice, describes in her cookbook, World Spice at Home, as a “savory and aromatic” blend of cinnamon, cumin, fennel, coriander, black pepper, guajillo chili flakes, and turmeric. (There is a recipe for Besar in the book.) A classic Garam Masala would be equally lovely, as would a curry or a tablespoon of Italian herb blend. Or just use a good quality cinnamon, perhaps with a pinch of cayenne or another red pepper.

The frozen pastry takes 20-30 minutes to thaw; you can thaw it while you get out your other ingredients and saute the veggies. I used a spring leek (in October—go figure) and Red Delicious apples. Hey, I fought the bear for them, I’m using them! But any firm apple would do nicely. The prosciutto is entirely optional.

Serve with a green salad. I liked it with a light Chardonnay, but a Pinot Gris or a light red would be nice, too.

Bon appetit!

This is a busy month for new releases here at the Kitchen! Congratulations to:
Krista Davis, for Not a Creature Was Purring (Wagtail #5, Berkley);
Daryl Wood Gerber, An Eclair to Remember (series debut, Crooked Lane); and 
Sheila Connolly, A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11, Berkley), and the trade paperback of Cruel Winter (Crooked Lane, County Cork Mystery #5)

Apple Leek Tart

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled smooth
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, sliced
½ white or yellow onion, chopped
2 small or 1 large apple, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon Besar, Garam Masala, or cinnamon with a pinch of cayenne
3 slices (3X8") prosciutto, cut in ribbons
½ cup shredded Gruyere

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the oil in a medium pan. Saute the leek, onion, and apple until the onions are translucent; the leeks should still have color and the apples beginning to soften. Add the spices and mix.

Roll the pastry dough just enough so soften the fold lines. Lay it in your baking sheet. Top with the vegetables, leaving a half inch frame around the edges. Bake 15 minutes. Cover with the prosciutto and grated cheese; bake 5 more minutes. Cheese should be melted and pastry lightly golden on the bottom. Let rest about 5 minutes before cutting and serving, to let the layers settle. Cut in sixths.

Serves 3, because you'll want two pieces! It could also be cut in smaller pieces for an appetizer.

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. OMG, an apple recipe I haven't tried! I agree about premade puff pastry (although my daughter can do it from scratch)--it's so versatile and useful.

  2. This looks like a delicious savory tart and I love that it incorporates apples for the season.

    1. Cooking seasonally isn't easy in these parts, but it does give me added pleasure.

  3. I love puffed pastry and yse it very often. I use apples and onions with my pork loin roasts so will try it as a tart now. Sound great. Looking forward to your next book as I have enjoyed the previous ones so much. Reading your books brings back my memories of our trips to Seattle and our adventures at Pike Market Place, and that is a fun memory for sure.
    Thank you for the great writing and the recipe today too.
    Cynthia B

    1. Thanks, Cynthia -- isn't armchair travel a treat?

  4. What a great combination of flavors and ease.

  5. This looks delicious! Congratulations to everyone on their releases!

  6. Ooh! I can just taste this! Lovely, Leslie. Hugs. MJ

  7. This looks really interesting, Leslie. I don't cook apples much. If I find a good one I eat it raw!

  8. Congrats on the release day for all the great reads. I am reading or have read all of them! Great recipe

  9. This looks interesting. Sounds good.

  10. You mystery lovers will be so busy reading all the new releases there won’t be time for cooking. Time to order pizza. Make mine gluten-free, please! Seriously, this seems an odd flavor combination to me. Apples and onions...aren’t leeks in the onion family? Hmmm

    1. Jane, you're right -- leeks and onions are both varieties of allium. And the combo really is terrific!