Apple Leek Cheddar Tart

This vegetarian tart combines the flavors of salty sharp Cheddar cheese with sweet apples and earthy leeks. Using store-bought puff pastry makes it quick and easy to put this together. Along with a side salad, this is a delicious lunch or light dinner.

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There are three main ingredients in this apple leek Cheddar tart – apples, leeks and Cheddar cheese (no surprises there!). When so few ingredients make up the flavor for your meal, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of those ingredients. Use your favorite apple for this recipe. You want the apples to retain their texture somewhat, but they don’t cook for long so there’s little worry about them breaking down too much. I use Gala or Honeycrisp which both have a nice sweet flavor that compliments the salty Cheddar and leeks nicely. 

You probably won’t find special leeks in the supermarket, but it is important to make sure you clean the leeks properly. Leeks grow out of sandy soil and a lot of grit gets caught between the leaves. Check out the video at the bottom of this page to see how to prepare the leeks.

Finally, the Cheddar cheese should be the best quality sharp Cheddar that you can find. It’s the sharp flavor that will compliment the sweet apple so well. 

Sliced apples, sliced leeks, butter, garlic and thyme on a wooden cutting board with a chef's knife.

You’ll find frozen puff pastry in a box in your supermarket. They are usually sold in packages of two, so if you wanted to, you could make two of these tarts by doubling the recipe. Of course, you’ll need to plan ahead so that the pastry has time to defrost properly – ideally, that is in the fridge overnight, but you can let it sit out on the countertop if you prefer. I like to keep the parchment paper that the pastry comes on because it makes it much easier to transfer the tart to a baking sheet and then off the hot sheet after baking. Roll the pastry out just slightly and then start layering your ingredients.

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Puff pastry, rolled out on parchment paper on a sheet pan with a red rolling pin.

It’s ideal if the apples have time to cool before you put them on the pastry. Spread them out on a baking sheet to cool or pop them into the fridge so that you’re not placing hot apples on the cool pastry.

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Apples and leeks on puff pastry - a step in making apple leek cheddar tart.

I used walnuts for a little nutty crunch in this tart, but you could use pecans, hazelnuts or almonds if you prefer. Or.. leave them off altogether if you’re not feeling nutty.

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Apple leek cheddar tart ready to go into the oven with walnuts and Cheddar cheese on top.

The tart is a rustic thing of beauty. You’ll know it’s finished when the cheese has melted and is lightly browned and the pastry is brown and crispy on the bottom as well as the sides. Use the parchment to slid the tart off the baking sheet.

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Apple leek cheddar tart, fully baked coming out of the oven on a sheet pan.

All that is left to do is slice and serve your perfect apple leek Cheddar tart, either when hot or slightly warm. A simple green salad is a nice accompaniment if you want to serve this as a light lunch, or slice the tart into strips and serve as an hors d’oeuvres. 

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A piece of apple leek cheddar tart on a spatula with the remaining pieces cut up on a wooden cutting board.

Watch The Recipe Videos

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Apple Leek Cheddar Tart

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Total Time: 40 m
  • Servings:
    6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic smashed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 red-skinned apples sliced (like Honeycrisp)
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry thawed
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sauté the leeks, thyme and smashed garlic clove until the leeks start to soften – about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the white wine and bring the liquid to a simmer for a minute or two. Add the apples and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, turning the apples over gently. Then, remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool. Remove the garlic clove and the thyme sprigs.

  3. Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.
  4. Roll the sheet of puff pastry out to a rectangle about 13-inches by 11-inches on a piece of lightly-floured parchment paper and transfer it to a baking sheet (you can use the parchment to lift and transfer the pastry easily). Brush a little egg wash on a ½-inch border of the rectangle and fold that ½-inch of the pastry up on top of the border to create a double crust.
  5. Sprinkle half the cheese on the interior of the pastry rectangle. Transfer the apple and leek mixture to the pastry, on top of the Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top and then finish with the remaining Cheddar cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg and transfer the baking sheet to the oven.
  6. Bake in the 425ºF oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry crust is nicely browned and crisp.
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Comments (2)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    Easy impressive recipe , looks like a restaurant prepared dish. Would have posted pic but it got cut into before I could get to it. Had 5 people of different ages and taste. They all loved it. It’s a keeper

  2. 5 stars
    Meredith, this recipe is amazing!! I made this with a Organic Salad. I really enjoyed cooking this, I love this recipe!! My mother who eats more traditional Hispanic foods loved this also.

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