Creamy baked leeks
- December 2023
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 20 min. Oven time 40 min
In this festive side dish recipe, leeks are cooked slowly in cream and cheese until soft and golden.
Recipe taken from Ginger Pig Christmas Cook Book by Tim Wilson and Rebecca Seal (Mitchell Beazley £25) and tested by delicious.
Serve the creamy leeks alongside this spectacular slow-cooked pork with orange and prunes, also from the Ginger Pig.
- 29g (18g saturated)
- 5.9g (5.1g sugars)
- 4 large leeks, trimmed and any tough outer leaves removed
- 200ml double cream
- 2 tbsp crème fraîche
- Large pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- Knob of unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 200ml whole milk
- Vegetable oil to grease
- 100g mature cheddar, finely grated
- Cut the leeks into roughly 5cm pieces, then halve lengthways down the middle. Wash carefully to remove any grit, aiming to keep the leeks relatively intact.
- Set a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water, add the leeks and steam for 8 minutes (see Make Ahead). Meanwhile, whisk together the cream, crème fraîche, cayenne and mustard in a bowl until completely combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put a pan large enough to hold the cream mixture over a medium heat, then add the butter. When it’s melted, add the flour, cook for a minute, stirring to form a paste, then gradually add the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Remove from the heat, then whisk in the cream mixture, beating well until smooth.
- Heat the oven to 150°C fan/gas 3½. Grease a medium ovenproof dish with oil. Arrange the leeks in the dish in a single layer, cut side up, then sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the leeks, opening up the layers to ease the cream between them, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until golden on top and the leeks are tender, covering with foil if they seem to be browning too fast.
If your oven is running too hot, the cream may split, which doesn’t matter at all in terms of how it tastes – it simply results in a slightly less pretty dish.
Steam, cover and chill the leeks up to 24 hours before you continue cooking the dish.
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