CATEGORY

Caramelized Leek and Apple Tartlets

Written by Victoria Dwek on Thursday, 13 September 2012. Posted in Food Mood

Do you wonder why we draw a blank when menu-planning when we’re blessed with so many recipe ideas? Well, that’s what happens to me, and I have less excuses than anyone. I find though, that it’s easier to create a menu when there’s a theme. 
A couple years ago, I hosted 40 people to two consecutive Rosh Hashanah lunches. I didn’t want them to eat the same food two days in a row. To the contrary, I wanted them to look forward to come back and try something completely different.
 
The first lunch, which fell out on Shabbat, was my own take on a traditional menu (a Syrian and Ashkenaz fusion). For the second lunch, I had fun with Asian-inspired dishes, like a make-your-own-sushi-bar, chicken and beef sate, and cold dishes like a beautiful Asian Pear Salad. It was easy to decide what to cook each day--and much more fun--when I had that structure. 
 
 
This year, I’m weaving the simanim throughout the meal. I usually make these tartlets with onions...but never again! I love leeks and it took them being a siman for Rosh Hashanah for me to realize that they work better than onions in some recipes. 
This unique method of caramelizing gives the leeks a completely different taste and texture vs. simply adding sugar when frying. I think it’s easier too because there’s less babysitting needed. 
 
  
 

Ingredients

 
Leek Topping:
½ cup water 
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sugar
3 big fat leeks, cut in rings and washed
1 clove garlic, minced
½ apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Olives, sliced in rings, for garnish
 
Dough:
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons oil
 

Directions

 
1. In a sauté pan or skillet (choose a pan that has a lid), combine water, sugar, and oil. Bring to a boil. Add leeks, lower heat, and cover. Let simmer, about 20 minutes, until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. When water is almost absorbed, added garlic and apple and stir to combine. Recover. Remove from heat when moisture is evaporated and mixture is soft and caramelized (taste it, you’ll see). 
2. Prepare the dough. Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate cup, combine water, yeast, and sugar (sometimes I just make a well in the flour and combine it there, and it’s fine). Add yeast mixture and oil to flour. Knead with hands until fully combined. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. 
 
 
 
3. Preheat oven to 350⁰F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. To form the tarts, roll out half the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles and remove to prepared pan. Top with a spoonful of leek filling and two or three olive rings. Bake until dough is just beginning to turn golden, 20 to 25 minutes. 
 
 
 
Yield: Um...you see, I ate all the leeks before I could finish putting them on the doughs. About 12 tarts (with extra dough left over for another use).
 
 
 
*This dough recipe will make more than you need, typically 3 to 4 dozen mini rounds. But don’t halve the recipe! Once you’re mixing the dough anyway, freeze the extra rounds and use them for either mini pizzas or lehme b’agine.
 
*I also make these in the dairy version. Either just top the leeks with mozzarella, or put a spoon of ricotta under the leeks...or both. Pine nuts also makes a great topping to these tarts, together with, or as an alternative to the olives.

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About the Author

Victoria Dwek

Victoria Dwek is the Managing Editor of Ami Magazine's Whisk, where she gets to chat with all her reader friends about cooking and baking, and share all her fun experiences in the culinary world. 

Comments (2)

  • AidelK
    16 September 2012 at 03:44 |

    This looks delicious! I made leek and potato soup for Rosh Hashana, but I may try these for Sukkos. BTW, reading the recipe in Step 1, when I read "recover," I thought it meant to take a break. As in, you're really cooking, sit down, have a tea--recover. LOL! I had to read it again.

  • VictoriaDwek
    16 September 2012 at 13:50 |

    I noticed that too when I was reading over the recipe and wondered for a second what I meant!

    I'm sure everyone can use a break while cooking, but I just meant to put the cover back on the pan :)

    Another note: even though I like making dough from scratch, you can make these even easier by using store-bough dough, such as Mazors. If using the pizza doughs, let them defrost and rise on the baking sheet before topping them with leeks and baking. They will taste much better that way vs. using frozen. You can also use the doughs labeled "sambousak." It's a different flavor/texture, but I like them as a stand-in for the mini pizza doughs.

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