Gill’s poached leek and Stilton tart

This very simple tart is a combination of one of my favourite local cheeses - and probably one of my favourite vegetables. I used to make hundreds of these before I joined RCHQ – and they have continued to prove very popular at our seasonal feasts.


You will need:

1x 8” loose-based tart case.

For the short crust

100g organic butter

200 g plain flour

Pinch of salt

About 100ml ice water


For the filling


3 medium or 2 large leeks, trimmed, cleaned and sliced into 1cm rounds

100g crumbled stilton 

100 ml of whole milk

200ml of organic double cream

2 whole free- range eggs

2 free range egg yolks

A knob of butter

Salt and pepper


To make the short crust 

Place the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until it reaches a bread crumb consistency. Add the iced water in a gradual stream. Watch carefully and stop adding the water as soon as the dough comes together. Knead a couple of times before wrapping in cling-film and chilling in the fridge for half an hour.

Roll out thinly to line the tart case. If you leave the edges over-hanging (you can cut these off later) and prick the base with a fork, you won’t need baking beans. Bake at 150c for about 15 mins or until the base is dry but not coloured. 

The filling

Put the leeks in a pan with 100ml of water, the knob of butter and some salt and pepper. Cover and poach gently until just tender then drain, saving the cooking liquor. Place the cooked leeks in the tart case and cover with the grated Blue Vinny.

To make the fantastically rich custard, combine the eggs and egg yolks with the cream and leek liquor and beat to a smooth consistency. Season to taste, then pour the custard over the cheese and leeks and pop straight in the oven. Bake at 180c for about half an hour - the custard should be just set when you shake the tin.

Delicious – especially when allowed to cool.