With melted cheese, eggs, tomatoes, shallots & garlic
Going to start this post with where I found the cookery book this recipe has been adapted from: outside one of my local charity shops last Autumn, had a sign that read, after closing, FREE PLEASE TAKE. Couldn’t resist having a rummage and found two cookery books by Good Housekeeping, a well known publication here in the UK. Chuffed I strode on and finished food shopping. As I’d bought puff pastry recently to make a particular dessert that never materialised (I’m so much more keen on savoury) I grabbed one of the books to find British recipes that include pastry. And there are lots! The Brits certainly know about all things pastry. So, I happened upon this slightly unusual tart that I’d never heard of. Apparently it would’ve been made prior to work, presumably the day before, to have for lunch. This might’ve been during the 19th century, certainly before latter day canteens existed. Anyway, the book is: Country Cooking by Elizabeth Ray (whom, coincidently, lives or lived in the same county as I am). Published by Ebury Press in 1979. It’s full of regional British recipes, a lot of them unknown to me. Importantly it’s proving to be a great source of reference. As it’s copyright (and I won’t infringe) my recipe is heavily adapted. However, I might give clues to the original within ingredients below. The original recipe is also heart attack inducing – think the equivalent of 21st century fast food for those during the 19th.
As I’m hoping to do some more Ye Olde British recipes on here I’m going to start with bacon influenced ones. It’s something I haven’t had in a while: and with the freezing weather recently I wanted to post about baking for a change. Back to this recipe, though; I’ve subbed puff for short crust. I developed a really nice home-made short crust several years ago that includes a third of ground hazelnuts and the rest plain (all purpose) flour. Slight problem in that I still haven’t found a grinder I like the look off. What’s that expression on your visage for?!? I quite simply won’t buy a grinder I can’t photograph! Get over it. Here, I have to admit, the puff really was delicious with Dijon mustard – an English dry mustard made into a paste probably would’ve been used, then. The other added ingredients of mine include pan-fried sliced shallots (small round ones) and thinly sliced garlic, both of them fried in bacon fat. Bacon, as suggested, off course. As this was my first attempt my pastry rose only to sink with the addition of the eggs. Next time I’m definitely going with more cheese on top of the baked blind puff and grill or broil that until the cheese would melt sufficiently to create a sort of barrier to prevent the egg mixture leaching in and turning the pastry from flaky to soggy. And I would definitely snip fresh chives into the egg mixture after it’s added. At the moment my pots of chives are nearing their end as they die back for Winter. Parsley will be a sub until Spring.
The soup included in the photos is Cheese and potato soup which has just been updated to include new photos and text. Surprisingly delicious with this tart.
Serves 1 or 2 to share
- butter or oil to coat an ovenproof dish
- puff pastry, rolled to about 4 or 5 mm (about a third of an inch) to cover the base only of an ovenproof dish
- Dijon mustard (or a favourite mustard), about 2 x tsp used and spread over the pastry after it’s been baked blind
- about 20g (0.70 oz) x mature Cheddar cheese, grated (to cover the layer of mustard) – original recipe used 100g (3.52 oz)
- 2 x rashers streaky bacon, pan-fried and broken into bits when cool enough
- 2 x small round shallots, trimmed both ends, peeled and sliced
- 1 x medium garlic clove, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 x large salad tomato, washed and sliced (core removed)
- 2 x medium free range (cage free) eggs, whisked
- single/light cream, about 2 dessertspoonfuls – original recipe used 6 tbs
- either fresh chives or parsley, rinsed and snipped or chopped
- seasoning, both freshly milled or ground sea salt and black pepper
- about 10g (0.35 oz) x mature Cheddar cheese, grated for the top of tart
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Pan-fry bacon in a little oil until nicely crisp on both sides. When done remove and set aside on kitchen paper. Break into small pieces when cool enough to do so.
- Prepare the shallots and pan-fry in the bacon fat on electric heat No 2 (out of 6) until nicely golden on both sides. Set aside. Add the garlic and reduce heat to No 1 to ensure they don’t burn. Again pan-fry until beginning to turn golden on both sides. When done set aside.
- Preheat oven to 200°C, 400°F, or Gas 6
- The original recipe used a 20cm or an 8 inch flan tin. I’ve used a small casserole dish that measures 14cm or 5½ in in diameter with its base sloping to 11cm or about 4½ in.
- Roll out puff pastry to about 4 or 5 mm (about a third of an inch) and cut to fit base only of casserole (or whatever is being used). Butter or spray with oil before placing the pastry inside. Bake on the second shelf up (in an electric oven) for about 15 minutes. Do check on how golden the top is. If golden remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Prepare the tomatoes, sprinkling those with a little sea salt.
- Whisk the eggs with a little cream and set aside.
- Preheat grill/broiler.
- When cool enough spread the Dijon mustard over the pastry. Sprinkle over the 20g of cheese, making sure the cheese is right up to the edge. Place under grill until bubbling. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
- Preheat oven to 150°C, 250°F or Gas 5.
- Place the tomatoes on top of the cheese, add the shallots and garlic, pour over the egg mixture, season with sea salt and black pepper. Snip over chives or parsley if using. Sprinkle over enough grated cheese to cover the top of tart.
- Place on the second shelf up and bake for up to 30 minutes. Turn grill on and carefully place underneath to get the top nicely golden.
All photographs within Feed the piglet:
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