I suspect that the year might be reaching its end when it comes to pastry making. The weather is slowly but surely actually warming up and we’re getting more than one day of blue sky and sunshine in a row.
Dealing with pastry in hot weather is a bit of a nightmare – not to mention that you then need to turn on your oven – so I’m going to have to get some baking out of my system sooner rather than later.
Thanks to having some hot-smoked salmon and some asparagus very fortuitously hanging around in the fridge (the salmon had been marked down and I’d forgotten to put the asparagus in something else) this tart (or quiche) was an easy dinner option. Thanks to having a trusty food processor, I even put in the effort to make my pastry. And thanks to having a new and as yet unused tin I even put in the effort to blind-bake. Something I frequently neglect.
You can’t really go wrong with tarts – bung in some kind of filling you like, top with eggs and cream and the job’s done. You’re going to like it (they’re like omelettes or frittatas but with a bit more faff on account of the pastry). With this recipe, do not look at the inclusion of the mozzarella, think it’s a bit weird and be tempted to omit it (or was that just me?) – it definitely adds to the richness of the finished product. And load up with as much dill as you can handle … because, well, it’s just delicious!
For us, this served three. We ate half and then shared a third quarter, leaving the final quarter for Master 5’s dinner the following day.
- 150g plain flour
- 75g unsalted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- Bunch of asparagus, chopped into chunks and steamed
- hot-smoked salmon - as much as you can afford or have left over
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp (or even more) finely chopped dill
- 100g mozzarella, shredded/grated
- 6 eggs (yes, really)
- ¼ cup cream
- pepper to season
- To make the pastry, process the flour, butter and a pinch of salt together until crumbs form. Add the egg yolk and process again, before adding a little cold water so that it comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for about half an hour.
- Preheat oven to 170°C fan.
- To blind bake, grease a 23 cm tart tin, roll out the pastry and line the tin then prick the base with a fork. Cover with a piece of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for another 5-10 so that the bottom is golden too.
- Allow to cool.
- When you're ready for dinner, flake the hot-smoked salmon over the base of the tart, follow it with the asparagus, dill, spring onions and mozzarella.
- Beat together the eggs and cream and season with pepper. Pour into the tart and then bake for 25-35 minutes until just set.
- Serve with a salad and feel virtuous, as you'll be getting tons of your 5-a-day.