Most of my tartlet trays have 12 holes, so I usually make 12 tartlets and reroll the scraps of pastry and turn them into cheese straws. You’ll get about 24.—
210g (7 ounces) standard flour & ¼ tsp salt
125g (about 4 ounces) butter, at room temperature but not squishy, diced
50g ((about 2 ounces) vintage Cheddar cheese, grated
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 medium (size 6) free-range egg yolk beaten with 50ml (just under 2 fluid ounces) chilled water
1 large leek
1½ Tbsp butter
250g (about 8½ ounces) dry-cured middle bacon, rind removed and chopped
200g (about 7 ounces) crème fraiche
2 medium (size 6) free-range eggs
A little freshly grated nutmeg (about ⅛ tsp)
1 Tbsp wholeseed mustard
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 To make the pastry put the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and drop in the butter. Process everything briefly, until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cheese and cayenne pepper and process for a few seconds, until it is evenly distributed, then with the machine running, pour in the mixed egg yolk and water. Process just until it forms a lumpy dough. Turn dough onto a clean board and knead together into a ball, using a dusting of flour if necessary to stop sticking. Pat dough into a round cake and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, just to let the dough relax; don’t let it become stiff or it will be difficult to roll out.
2 Roll out pastry lightly dusted with flour between two pieces of baking paper. Chill for 10 minutes. Line into a 12-hole tartlet tin. Chill until firm. Preheat oven to 190°C. I like to line the holes with small squares of baking paper so tartlets don’t stick. Make a snip on each square of baking paper towards the centre with scissors, then put a round of pastry on top and mold them into the hole.
3 Trim leek, cut in half down the length and wash thoroughly under running water. Shake, slice, and finely chop. Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat, add ½ tablespoon butter and once it is sizzling add bacon. Cook until golden, tilt pan and let bacon fat run off and transfer bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. If there is any bacon fat, pour it off, then add 1 tablespoon butter to pan. Add chopped leek, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 10 minutes, until wilted. Remove pan from heat and cool.
4 In a bowl mix crème fraiche, eggs, nutmeg, mustard and smoked paprika and freshly ground black pepper to taste, a pinch of salt, and bacon and leek. Spoon into tartlet tins. Put tartlet tins on a baking sheet in case of spillages. Bake for 25 minutes, or until richly golden. Cool for 10 minutes, then slip out of tartlet tins.
To make Cheese Straws see here LINK