Sunday, 25 April 2010

A COUPLE OF OLD TARTS


Trying to use up odds and sods of veg and creme fraiche in the fridge, I decided to make some savoury tarts with puff pastry, redolent of the sort of delicious and elegant tarts found in French patisseries and delis. These are distinct from quiche as they do not have an egg custard; instead, I used creme fraiche with some fresh parmesan grated into it. When it cooks, the creme fraiche creates a kind of fake custard, with a nice sharpness which cuts into the savoury sweetness of the toppings. Good things to put on top include bacon and fried onions (for something closer to quiche lorraine), sliced tomatoes and basil, leeks and blue cheese, or thinly sliced courgettes. Once, when a neighbour's tomato plants produced a glut of fruit and she gave me a basket of red and yellow cherry tomoatoes, I made a tart with a topping reminiscent of the Spanish flag, in bold stripes of red and yellow.

The quantities given here will produce two tarts, each of which will serve two people generously.

Basic recipe
500g of bought puff pastry, divided into two pieces and rolled into long, thin oblongs
Approx. 2 tbsps creme fraiche mixed with 1 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese.

Spread the creme fraiche mixture evenly over the pastry, leaving a thin border round the edge, before covering with your chosen topping.

Leek & Onion topping
Fry 2 leeks, thinly sliced, with 2 medium onions thinly sliced and one clove of garlic, sliced, until everything begins to caramelise slightly.

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