Goats cheese, ham and rosemary tart

Goats cheese, ham and rosemary tart

IMG_0607 So at the risk of sounding like a broken, pastry obsessed, record; tarts are pretty standard weeknight fare for us. Although pastry is not particularly healthy I feel that the amount of vegetables makes up for this somewhat. Anyway, this is perfect for when you fancy something delicious in less that 30 minutes.

To make ham, goats cheese and rosemary tart you will need:

1 puff pastry sheet (or 1 block of puff pastry)

1 -2 large handfuls fresh spinach

About 10g butter

3 eggs

A splash of milk

Salt and pepper

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 handful ham (I used Yorkshire ham)

2/3 courgette

Approx 100g goats cheese

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Roll out your pastry to the size of your baking tray and use a fork to pierce holes in it. Melt the butter and brush over the pastry. Cover with the spinach and use a peeler to make thin slices of courgette over the tart. Tear your ham and rosemary into small pieces and scatter over the tart. Beat your eggs and milk and pour over the tart. Cut your cheese into small pieces (about 1cm) and top your tart with this along with the salt and pepper. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisped up.

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Two tarts perfect for the Summer – Lemon Tart and Easy Fruit Tart

I seem to gone on a bit of a pastry bender over the last few weeks. Forgive me – but tarts of all kind are perfect summer foods. The Company Sophie Conran who make some exquisite stuff very kindly sent me some products to review.

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The most adorable mini chopping board and oven glove. Having used cheap plastic chopping boards for so long it is wonderful to finally have something so beautiful and tactile. It also works well to serve things on in what my Aunt calls a “bit of everything” meal. I will definitely be buying more from this range in the future. The oven glove is such a sunny colour; I thought it would look put me in an instantly sunny mood while I was making my first tart (the lemon one).

Anyway, as the pastry recipe makes 2 things I froze half of the pastry and made a red fruit tart exactly a fortnight later.

To make your tarts you will need:

For the pastry

500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

140g icing sugar

250g unsalted butter, frozen and grated

4 egg yolks

1 – 2 tbsp cold water

(Makes 2 tarts, at least)

For 1 lemon tart filling

5 eggs

140g caster sugar

150ml double cream

The juice and zest of 2 big lemons

For the fruit tart filling

Your favourite soft fruits

1/4 of a pomegranate

250g marscapone (I used lighter marscapone)

Runny honey

Vanilla paste or a vanilla pod

 

Grate your butter and add to your icing sugar and flour. Either use your hands to rub together or whizz up in your food processor.

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Add your egg yolks and whizz up again. If the mixture isn’t binding very well add the water.

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Separate your pastry into two. Chill one in cling film for an hour and freeze the other for another day (or chill it and make 2 tarts at once!)

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Roll out your pastry and put it in your tart tin without trimming and chill again for half an hour. Press the pastry into the sides and trim it to size. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Prick your pastry with a fork.

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Bake the pastry for 10 minutes with baking beans and 20 minutes without. While this is baking make your lemon mixture by whisking together all the ingredients but the lemon zest. Sieve this and then add the zest. Add the lemon mixture to your tart and bake for a further 30 minutes.

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The oven glove in action

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Allow to cool and serve chilled. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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To make the fruit tart roll out your pastry following the instructions above. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Bake the pastry for 20 minutes when lined with baking beans and 15 minutes without the beans.

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While your pastry base is cooling make your creamy base by mixing together the marscarpone with your vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla paste. Add your runny honey to taste (I used approx 1 tbsp). Spread this generously across the pastry.

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Oh honey, you’re so fine
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What cheese should you use to hide a horse? Mascarpone

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Prepare your fruits and arrange them across your tart in a charming yet casual way (ha!)

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Serve with whatever you choose – I like it on its own but cream, sorbet or ice cream are all delicious with it.

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There’s still time to enter my giveaway below if you like. But mostly I hope you attempt your own tarts if you fancy.

 

Also a massive thank you to Sophie Conran for sending me these product to review (which actually arrived on my birthday!). I loved them both and I found the single oven glove especially useful when I was trying to do several things at once in the kitchen. Also both have really brightened up my kitchen! I am a fan.

To purchase the exact oven glove and chopping board I was sent click on the links provided. The rest of the chopping boards in the set are definitely on my wishlist.

Tomato, feta and filo tart

I don’t know why filo pastry makes pastry based goodies look so much prettier; but I think it does. It also works well in this recipe as it is light and an excellent carrier of the different flavours of tomatoes and feta. My mother used to make a similar tart from her French cookery book (which I will blog about at some point as its wonderful) but in this case as with most of my recipes I decided what I fancied and went with it. This is the result.

To make your very own tart you will need

4 sheets filo pastry (you may need more)

Assorted tomatoes of your choice

2 shallots

Approx 150g Feta cheese cut into cubes

Wholegrain mustard

Melted butter

Balsamic vingar

Olive oil

Dried chives

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a lose bottomedtin arrange your sheets of pastry into a base shape brushing the melted butter on the pastry sheets between layers.

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Spread the wholegrain mustard into the base of your tart.

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Chop the tomatoes and shallot and arrange over your pastry base with the Feta cheese.

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Top with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried chives and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

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Remove from the tin and serve while still warm with salad or green vegetables. A perfect midweek meal.

Coconut frangipane lime tarts (and mini tarte tatin)

As you may have gathered from the limited number of pie recipes on my blog, homemade pastry is really not my strong point. After a food technology lesson when I was about 13 which resulted in pastry that would just not bind together I pledged my allegiance to Jus Roll more or less (except when it comes to baking club and baking with friends). Enter my Dad, a man who has no fear when it comes to pastry making. Apparently all you need is a food processor (never fear my fellow warm handed friends; you too can make excellent pastry!)

Anyway, this pastry recipe makes enough for one large tart, plus 2 smaller tarts, you need to factor in time for your pastry to chill when making this, I really would recommend leaving your pastry to chill for at least half an hour. It is important not to let the pastry get warm. The below pastry recipe is intended to be used to make pâte brisée which, when cooked, produces a thin crisp shell which is an excellent carrier for both sweet and more savoury recipes.

To make the above tarts you will need:

For the pastry

250g plain flour

125g butter cut into small cubes

2 egg yolks

1 level teaspoon salt

3.5 – 4 tablespoons cold water

For the frangipane

100g butter

100g caster sugar

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

100g dessicated coconut

2 level tablespoons flour

The zest of 2 limes and the juice of 1 lime

For tarte tatin

2 apples per tart

A good sized chunk of butter

caster sugar

 

Put your flour, butter and eggs into your food processor (with the knife blade attachment) and mix until breadcrumbs are formed.

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In a separate container dissolve your salt in your cold water. Gradually add the water to your breadcrumbs while mixing until your pastry starts to bind.

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Put the dough into a plastic food bag and press together until the pastry has bound. Then put the dough in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

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Grease your larger tart tin with a good amount of butter, generally in baking I would recommend proper butter but spreadable butter is fine for greasing tins.

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Roll out the pastry (you shouldn’t use flour for this step, the pastry is so cold it won’t stick much). It should take quite a lot of effort to roll the dough out as it is cold. If your pastry starts to stick to your board but it in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. Line your tart tin with the pastry and use a sharp knife to trip off any excess from the sides. If you have any bare patches in the tin press in some of your excess pastry and trim it. To prevent the pastry from rising when cracking use a fork to prick the base of the tart several times. Keep the remainder of the pastry back for your apple tarts.

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Preheat your oven to 200°C. To make your coconut frangipane put the butter and caster sugar in your clean food processor (apparently washing up as you go along while baking is a thing!). Mix until it looks pale and fluffy.

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Add your egg and egg yolk to the mix. Then add your coconut and the lime zest and juice.

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Spread the frangipane in an even layer over your pastry and bake for around 15 minutes until everything is golden brown. If the pastry starts to brown too fast turn the oven down to 180°C.

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Once baked dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.

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To make the tarte tatin first line your tart tins with foil to prevent losing all the apple juices when cooking.

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Peel and slice your apples. Melt your butter in a frying pan, add the apples and cover in sugar. Cook until the apples are soft and the sugar has caramelised.

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Put the apple in the tart tins and cover with a thin pastry lid with a steam hole.

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Bake at 200°C until golden brown, again turn the oven down to 180°C if the pastry browns too fast.

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Remember to resist the urge to strut too much if your pastry is a success. Perfect pastry and modesty is always a winning combination.