Goat Cheese, Pear and Leek Tart 8.000

Michael Williamson for The Washington Post

Oct 8, 2008

This is a signature dish of Locke Modern Country Store owner Juliet Mackay-Smith, who came up with it when she was a caterer.

The dough portion of this recipe makes more than you'll need for the tart. Use two-thirds of the dough to cover a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Wrap the remaining dough well and freeze for up to 1 month.

Servings: 8 - 12
  • For the crust
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water
  • For the filling
  • 4 leeks, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 ounces low-fat cream cheese (do not use nonfat)
  • 1 large firm pear, such as red or Anjou
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Use a pastry cutter or cool hands to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.

Combine the egg yolk and water in a measuring cup. Add to the flour-butter mixture a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. (You might not need all of the liquid).

Divide the dough into thirds; shape two-thirds of it into a disk, then wrap in plastic wrap; chill for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight. (The remaining dough can be wrapped well and frozen for up to 1 month.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Press the chilled dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, making sure it is even on the bottom and the sides. Trim/even off the top of the sides as necessary. Place a round of parchment paper or aluminum foil on the crust and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the paper or foil and weights; bake for 2 to 5 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool slightly.

For the filling: Remove the tough green tops and root ends from the leeks, leaving the white shanks and tender green portions. Slice those in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-rounds. Submerge the cut leeks in water and let them stand for a few minutes to remove any sand. Skim the leeks from the top of the bowl with a strainer, being careful not to disturb the sandy water, and drain.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for five to 10 minutes, until they are tender and starting to brown. Add the white wine and heavy cream, stirring to mix well; cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for 5 to 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. The reduced mixture should show tracks from the spoon in the bottom of the pan when stirred; the texture should resemble that of loose custard. Remove from the heat and add the goat and cream cheeses, stirring just until melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

While the mixture is cooling, peel and core the pear. Cut it into 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup) and fold into the cooled mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the mixture in the pre-baked pie shell, filling to 1/8 inch from the top of the shell. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes; the crust will be lightly browned but the top of the tart will not have much color; that is okay.

Let the tart cool and set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Juliet Mackay-Smith of the Locke Modern Country Store in Millwood, Va.

Tested by Hal Mehlman.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.