Savory French Pastries - Chef Susan Holding

Regional Savory Pastries of France

Susan Holding, The Little French Bakery 

Chevre, Shallot and Leek Tart 

1 Recipe pastry dough
12 ounces leeks, cleaned, trimmed weight (2-3)
8 ounces firm goat cheese, 1/2 oz (rindless, 10 g)
3 large eggs, beaten
7 fluid ounces crème fraiche or sour cream
4 shallots, trimmed and finely diced
  Salt and ground pepper



  • You will need a 7½ inch (19 cm) diameter fluted quiche tin with a removable base, 1¼ inches (3 cm) deep, very lightly buttered, and a small, solid baking sheet.  
    1. Pre-heat oven  375°F (190°C) and pop the baking sheet in to pre-heat on the center rack.
    2. Remove the tough green ends from the leek and discard them; leave some of the lighter green & then make a vertical split about halfway down the center of each one and clean them by running them under the cold-water tap while you fan out the layers – this will rid them of any hidden dust and grit. Then slice them in half lengthways and chop into ½-inch (1 cm) slices.
    3. In a medium-sized frying pan, melt the butter over gentle heat and add the leeks, shallots and some salt. Stir, allowing them to cook gently, without a lid, for 10-15 minutes or until the juice runs out of them. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl to drain off the excess juice.
    4. Roll it out into a circle on a lightly floured surface. As you roll, give it quarter turns to keep the round shape and roll it as thinly as possible. Now transfer it, rolling it over the pin, to the tin. Press it lightly and firmly over the base and sides of the tin, easing any overlapping pastry back down to the sides, as it is important not to stretch it. Now trim the edges and press the pastry up about ¼ inch (5 mm) above the rim of the tin all round, and then prick the base all over with a fork.
    5. “Pre bake” tart crust, filling with beans or pie weight for about 15 minutes, or until light brown, but not completely baked.
    6. While the pastry is baking, crumble the goats’ cheese with your hands, gently combine it with the leeks & shallots in the sieve. Mix the beaten eggs with the crème fraîche or double cream, seasoning with just a little salt (there is some already in the leeks) and a dash or black pepper (to taste).
    7. As soon as the pastry case is ready, remove it from the oven; arrange the leeks, shallots and cheese all over the base. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the top of the cheese, shallots & leeks, then put the tart back on the baking sheet with the oven shelf half pulled out, then gently slide the shelf back in and bake the tart for 30-35 minutes, until it’s firm in the center and the surface is golden brown.
    8. Remove it from the oven and allow it to settle for 10 minutes before serving.

                 Modified from recipe at 


    Rosemary Parmesan Madeleines

    1/3 cup all-purpose flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    pinch salt

    1 large egg

    ¼ cup yogurt

    ¼ cup grated parmesan or gruyere cheese

    1 tablespoon rosemary or fresh herbs (chives) 

    Blend all ingredients (except cheese and herbs) in blender or food processor.

    Spoon into well-buttered and floured madeleine molds.  Bake at 425 for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and rap firmly on counter surface to remove from molds.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 

    (Provence Cookbook, Patricia Wells.  Harper-Collins 2004.) 


    1 recipe baguette dough

    3-4 sweet onions

    dry or fresh thyme

    4 Tablespoons butter

    white wine

    olive oil

    salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper

    Anchovies, olives, chevre – as desired 

    Caramelize onions in butter, add wine, herbs to taste.  Roll dough to cover 12 x 18 pan.  Brush with olive oil.  Top with onions and top with cheese, olives, and anchovies. Bake until dough is golden brown at 425.   May be cut into slices or squares and served warm or at room temperature. 

    Herb Bread 

    1 cup flour

    2 tsp. baking powder

    ½ tsp sea salt

    3 large eggs

    2 Tablespoons French mustard

    ½ cup grated parmesan or gruyere cheese

    ¼ cup minced mint

    ¼ cup minced chives

    ¼ cups minced thyme 

    Preheat oven to 425

    Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor, then add cheese and herbs

    Pour batter into bread pan and bake for about 45 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Serve at room temperature in cubes with sauce or toasted with cheese for breakfast or snack. 

    Tomato, Fennel and Orange Sauce

    2 tsp. olive oil

    1 small sliced onion

    2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

    sea salt

    1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes in juice, pureed.

    1 bouquet garni (parsley stems, celery leaves, thyme wrapped in leek leaf tied with string)

    hot pepper flakes (optional)

    ½ tsp. fennel seeds

    Grated zest on 1 orange (preferably organic or well-washed) 

    In a skillet combine oil, onion, garlic, salt and stir/sweat over low heat,  Don’t brown.  Add tomatoes, bouquet garni, fennel seeds, orange zest and pepper flakes.  Simmer uncovered until sauce thickens for about 15 minutes.   Adjust seasonings, discard bouquet garni.  Use immediately or store 2 days in frig or 3 months in freezer. 

    (Provence Cookbook, Patricia Wells.  Harper-Collins 2004.) 



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