Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Such a Tart!

How to make a tart:

Make shortcrust pastry: I make mine via Gordon Ramsay's recipe but you can use whatever recipe you prefer or buy it from the chilled or frozen part of the supermarket-you can even buy it in sheets these days!

Once you've made your pastry and left it to rest (or opened up the packet...remember, if using frozen or chilled, let it come to room temperature first) then get ready to roll it out, using a rolling pin and a sprinkling of flour.   I like my tarts a bit rough and ready so I use my tart tin to cut out the size of pastry I need and then give it another wee roll out to make it fit but you can use a saucer, a plate or anything round!   I then butter my tart tins...any kind of tart, pie or cake tin will do...and lay the pastry onto it, pressing down and into the tin ensuring that there will be no air bubble underneath. 

You can par bake the pastry, I usually do but only for five minutes; either pour some baking beans (specific beans for baking from good cake supply shops), rice or the easy option, a wee bit of tin foil in the middle of the pastry, where the filling will go.   Bung it into a medium oven for five minutes and then bring out to cool slightly, removing the beans/foil/rice first.

Ingredients of choice: I always fill my tarts with the same mix; a beaten egg, approx. 5 tablespoons double cream, a good handful of Parmesan and plenty of seasoning-these are all mixed together to be poured on to whatever topping you prefer.

Red onions, chopped finely and sauted in a pan with some butter and olive oil.   After a few minutes, add some crushed and chopped garlic to taste.   Cook slowly until soft but not too browned.   Let it cool and add to pastry.

Add some chopped, sliced or crumbled goats cheese (or feta, or cheddar....) and place on top of onion mix.

Add dollops of pesto and either smooth out neatly or leave in lumps....whatever way you prefer.

 Pour in the creamy eggy batter til almost full but not too full because remember, it'll rise....and add some slices or halves of baby tomatoes, a basil leaf, a grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.   I add a tiny squeeze of lemon juice too!

 Bake in oven until golden brown and puffy and remove to cool slightly.   Can be eaten hot or cold.

I like a shallow tart sometimes so that there is lots of crust; this one was made in a large pie tin with artichokes instead of pesto and some rocket and basil.   It was sliced into 8 and ate at random whenever anyone was hungry.


Grannymar said...

Helen, that looks so tasty and easy too!

Jo Campbell said...

My husband is really good at making these - might have to remind him he hasn't made any for a while (since our hens have us overflowing with eggs).

Helen McGinn said...

Grannymar, they are so easy and look amazing but taste just as lovely...the beauty of all the fresh ingredients. :O)

Jo, a brilliant way to use up those eggs!

Zuzana said...

Hello my dearest Helen, again my mouth is watering; your culinary skills never disappoint.;)
I am hoping likewise your summer is good.;))
Much love

LisaDay said...

Can you go wrong with something that has a crust, particularly shortbread?

I think not.


obladi oblada said...

That looks really good..and I love Gordon Ramsey!

aladdinsane12 said...

i could eat a whole goat's worth of goat's cheese, if that's possible. those look so yummy- like tiny deep-dish pizzas :)

Helen McGinn said...

Zuzana, it's so lovely to see you...I've been reading your blog during my wilderness months when I wasn't posting. x

LisaDay, I couldn't agree more! :O) x

obladi oblada, thanks hon! I miss your blog! x

aladdinsane12, that's a really good description for them. Quiche pizzas! ;O)

Sumandebray said...

Cooking is a form of art .. no question about it....... But you are making into a visual artform too!

Helen McGinn said...

Sumandebray, what a lovely thing to say; thank you! :O)