Leeks are remarkably easy to grow, considering the bountiful harvest. Everyone knows they make a great soup with potatoes and cream (if you’ve never tried it, look up Emeril Lagasse’s recipe) but chances are you’ll have more leeks than you can possibly consume in soup.

This pie shows off leeks' flavor and texture. Keeping that goal in mind, adjust to suit your taste and available ingredients.

  • 1 pie crust
    [Use your favorite or a ready-made crust, but consider trying Stephanie Jaworski’s amazing pâte brisée http://www.joyofbaking.com/PieCrust.html, complete with a video. You can whip it up in the food processor in minutes and it tastes wonderful.]

  • ⅓ lb Gruyère cheese
    [A sharp cheddar is also good but quite different. Try each!]

  • 10 ounces leeks
    [More leeks is fine—I’ve used up to 16 ounces.]
    , thinly sliced

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
    [I use yoghurt rather than milk to sharpen the flavor of the cheese. Nonfat works fine.]

  • Fat
    [I usually use olive oil but will happily use bacon grease if I have it.]
    and stock
    [“Better Than Bouillon”, any flavor, works fine.]
    to sauté the leeks

  • Options: ham, bacon, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.
    [The pie is, in fact, perfectly ok with nothing but leeks. Remember not to overpower them!]

  1. Pre-bake the crust a bit, say 15 minutes at 425°F. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°F.

  2. Slice the cheese thinly with a cheese slicer
    [The ideal cheese slicer looks like a wide spatula with a sharpened slot. Rösle makes a good one though it’s pricey; there are many imitators that haven’t quite figured out the engineering of the slot and sell what might better be called cheese rippers…but that’s another story. If you don’t have a cheese slicer, or your cheese is crumbly and won’t slice easily, shredding the cheese will work nicely.]
    and spread half of it over the bottom of the crust.

  3. Caramelize the leeks and any optional ingredients in a skillet until tender, then add a scant cup of stock and continue cooking, reducing until moist but not wet. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

  4. Beat the eggs with the yoghurt, stir in the leeks and pour the mixture over the cheese in the crust.

  5. Spread the remaining cheese over the top.

  6. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or so until crust is brown and custard has set. If in doubt, bake longer, just don’t burn it.

  7. Can be served hot from the oven, though it improves as it cools a bit.