By Chef Ella Freyinger

February 2021

4 Servings

Mustard seeds hold a special place in my heart as they were one of the first
foods that I foraged after moving to Los Angeles, 12 years ago. Spicy, pungent, warming and delicious. I became utterly enamored by their versatility and flavor and began making any and all condiments and dishes with these tiny powerhouses. These days my love for them is even stronger as we begin to say farewell to the cold of winter. In traditional Chinese medicine mustard seeds are associated with the warm qualities of the lands on which they grow. They clear dampness from the body and expel cold. This tart is one of the multitude of ways I love using mustard seeds. Taking a sweet treat and turning it into a savory delight that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


  • 1 recipe Perfect Pie Crust
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 Apples, core removed and cut into 1⁄4” rings (I love Braeburn)
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1⁄8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, cut in half and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until they begin to caramelize around the edges, about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl; mix the mustard, honey, thyme and black pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust into a 14”x10” rectangle. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the dough. Crumble the goat cheese over the crust, leaving about a 2-inch border around the edges. Scatter the cooked leeks over the goat cheese. Then layer your apples, I do this in a completely unpredictable pattern as I don’t like food to look too fussy.
  • Fold the edges of the dough over the apples in a free-form fashion. The more creases and edges, the more deliciously flaky crust you’ll enjoy! Using a pastry brush, brush the dough evenly with the egg.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the apples are tender and the crust is a golden brown. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner with a delightfully bitter salad of radicchio, frisée and endive.
  • Enjoy!