Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer Vegetable Tart

I had the idea of making a savoury tart, even though I was all cookied out after the Twookieparty and never wanted to set eyes on a baking sheet or oven for a long long time!  Quiches wouldn't be on my Top Ten list of things I like to eat - I find a lot of them too eggy and rubbery with cheap ingredients, but I am very fond of the M&S summer vegetable quiche which has lots of nice seasonal veg in it.  Aldi had a special on asparagus - 89c for a nice big bunch, so I bought two.  A few weeks ago I bought a rectangular loose-bottomed tin in Kitchen Complements and it was crying out to be used - hence yesterday's tart!

I decided to be brave and make my own pastry - you don't have to, if you don't want to... a packet of readymade shortcrust will work just fine.  This is absolutely gorgeous - a large piece of it was donated to the Parents yesterday - Mum was picking at bits of the pastry as I was leaving the house, so I'd reckon it barely survived the night.  It's very fresh and light, and even veggie-friendly... see, I can do the odd meat-free dish!

Summer Vegetable Tart

200g Plain Flour
A pinch of Salt
125g VERY chilled Butter, chopped into small cubes
1 Egg, lightly beaten

Using a food processor with the knife blade, blend your flour & salt for a second.
Add the very very very cold butter & whizz until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.  If the butter isn't cold enough, the dough will turn into a sloppy mess and it's not worth the grief...
Now add the egg & pulse it until the dough comes together in big clumps.

Tip the dough out onto a large piece of clingfilm, press it together to form a ball, wrap up and stick it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Or... buy a packet of readymade shortcrust pastry and follow the recipe from here!!

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line a loose-bottomed 23cm/9 inch round tin or my lovely 35 x 10/13 x 4 inch tart tin with the pastry, leaving a 1cm overlap all around.  Prick the base with a fork & put it back in the fridge for another 30 minutes.  I know this is a bit of a chore, but the pastry needs to chill & snooze.

Now, turn your oven on to 190c/Gas Mark 5 and start preparing your filling.

Summer Vegetable Tart Filling

1 bunch Spring Onions, trimmed and finely chopped
100g frozen Petit Pois (you can use peas, but these are more dainty & delicate)
2 bunches Asparagus, peeled and trimmed
200ml Creme Fraiche
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 medium Egg Yolks
25g Parmesan, grated
25g Butter
Large handful Mint Leaves, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper

Pour the frozen Petit Pois into a shallow bowl & allow to defrost.
Put the asparagus in a suitable container, add 1 tsp water, cover and microwave on high for 1 minute.
Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the spring onions and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat.  They need to be soft, but not take on any colour. 

Scoop out and keep to one side.  Toss the asparagus in the remaining butter and keep separately.

Line the pastry base with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans/dried pasta/uncooked rice and bake for 10 minutes, placing it on a large flat baking sheet first. 

Remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the base is dry & the pastry has a golden tinge.  Using a serrated knife, trim off the excess pastry.

In a Pyrex measuring jug or a bowl, mix the creme fraiche, parmesan, garlic and egg yolks.  Season well and stir in the spring onions, mint and peas.  Pour into the base of the tart and top with the asparagus.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden and puffy.  Try to let it cool a bit before you get stuck in, as it's VERY HOT (and incredibly delicious)

No comments:

Post a Comment