This recipe is comfort food: plain, pure and simple. Spring leeks are cooked in a cream and mustard sauce, all nestled in a super easy crust made of cream cheese. It is hard to find “fast food” that is actually sumptuous, but this surely is. This pie can be assembled earlier in the day, refrigerated, then cook just when you need it. You’ll need an additional 5 minutes of cooking time for a cold pie. Spring leeks are just around the corner, so put this recipe on your “gotta do” list.

This recipe comes Elinor Klivan’s Potpies. This little gem of a book, published in 2006, is replete with ideas that will change your idea of “pot pie.” You won’t be buying them anymore in the freezer aisle of your supermarket. These are distinctive and distinctively better.

The cream cheese crust is ideal and the recipe is presented here too. There are crust options suggested, one of them an Extremely Flaky Sour Cream Crust. For that recipe, you’ll need your own copy of this lovely book.


Leeks in Mustard Cream Potpie

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 leeks
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Surefire Cream Cheese Crust

Preparation:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Have ready a 9-by-2-inch round or oval baking dish or glass pie dish.

Cut off the green part of the leeks and discard or use for soup. Cut the white part in half lengthwise. Rinse thoroughly to wash away any sand between the layers and cut the leeks into 1-inch pieces. You will have about 4 cups. In a medium bowl, stir the cream and mustard together. Add the leek pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture together and coat the leeks with liquid. Use the spatula to scrape all the leek filling into the baking dish. Set aside.

Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll the crust dough to a shape that is 1 inch larger than the top of the baking dish. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll it over the leek filling. Fold ½ inch of the edge of the dough under to form a smooth edge. Use a fork to press the dough firmly onto the rim of the baking dish. Cut four 2-inch-long slits in the top of the crust to release steam while the potpie bakes.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling gently. Use a large spoon to cut down through the crust and scoop out servings of crust and filling.


Surefire Cream Cheese Crust

Yield: enough for one bottom crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 3 pieces

Preparation:

Sift the flour and salt together into a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter and cream cheese until smoothly blended, about 45 seconds. Mix in the flour mixture until the dough holds together and forms large clumps that come away from the sides of the bowl, about 30 seconds.

Or, use a large spoon to stir the butter and cream cheese together until smoothly blended, then add the flour and salt and continue stirring until clumps of smooth dough form.

Form the dough into a smooth ball, flatten it into a 6-inch disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or as long as overnight. The dough is now ready to roll and use in the recipes.


Source: Potpies by Elinor Klivans [Chronicle Books, 2006]