I bought some lovely leeks at the farmers’ market at the weekend - young and tender they were indeed - and naturally my thoughts turned to potato and leek soup. Leeks have been used since ancient times, and it seems that pottage of one sort or another is their usual final resting place. There must be some other good ideas for good leeks, I thought, so I went looking – just in case I end up with a glut of lovely leeks and get tired of lovely soup.
Here are a couple of my finds:
Pilchard and Leek Pie
Clean and skin the white part of some large leeks; scald in milk and water, and put them in layers into a dish, and between the layers, two or three salted pilchards which have been soaked for some hours the day before. Cover the whole with a good plain crust. When the pie is taken out of the oven, lift up the side crust with a knife, and empty out all the liquor; then pour in half a pint of scalded cream.
A New System of Domestic Cookery (1808) by Maria Eliza Rundell.
Cut up a dozen leeks (previously washed clean and free from grit) into pieces half an inch long; place these in a basin with half a pint of good thick cream, season with nutmeg, pepper and salt, and mix all well together. Prepare a pound of short paste (No. 756) divide it into four equal parts, mould these into balls, roll them out to the size and shape of pudding-plates, and place them on a baking-dish or tin; with a paste-brush dipped in water wet all round the edges of the paste, fill the centre of each flat with enough of the prepared leeks to fill the flammish - when, by gathering up the sides of the paste, each flat assumes the form of a puckered purse; this must be secured by fastening the plaits together with a wetted small circular piece of paste gently pressed upon their centre. Bake for half an hour.
The Cook's Guide, and Housekeeper's & Butler's Assistant (1867) by Charles Elmé Francatelli.
This is clearly a flamiche – a leek and cream tart which is a specialty of parts of Northern France and Belgium.