Thursday, 18 October 2007

Entente Cordiale Tart

We were invited by some friends for a 'soirée rugby' last saturday - oops, sorry about the result, which slightly pooped the end of the party. Not wanting to take sides (Scotland got knocked out anyway), I took a

Cheddar and Shallot Tart:

Quantites are for a fairly shallow 20cm tart tin - serves 4 mains or 8 starters.

For the pastry:
250g plain flour
50 spelt flour (just to make it more nutty, but you can substitute any wholemeal flour or use all white if you prefer)
75g butter
pinch of salt
1 whole egg
dash of water (if necessary)

Rub ingredients together until they are well mixed and can be formed into a flat lump.
Roll out pastry into well greased tart tin, prick with a fork and bake blind for 10-15 minutes.

For the filling:
200g mature cheddar, grated
6 medium shallots (or 3 medium onions)
50g butter
500ml crème fraîche
2-3 eggs (depending on size)
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground piment d'espelette (my favourite! if unavailable, you can use sweet paprika instead)
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper
8 fresh sage leaves (for decoration)

Soften the shallots in butter for 15-20 minutes over a low heat but do not let them brown. Allow to cool.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add all the other ingredients, including the cooled shallots.
Pour into the pre-baked tart tin and decorate with sage leaves.
Bake in a medium oven (mine says 6, but the thermostat's decidedly unreliable!) for around 20 minutes until brown on top.
Allow to cool before slicing.

Serve with English leaf salad and French vinaigrette.

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