• Lockdown Larder: Tarts

    I love a savoury tart.  I love a sweet one too,but this post is about savoury tarts.  Just as soups are a good way to use up vegetables, so too are tarts (or quiches).  I have made three tarts/quiches during lockdown:

    • Leek
    • Leek and mushroom
    • Parsnip and leek

    Have you spotted the common denominator?  Yes, the good old leek.  I know there are many things you can do with a leek, but sauteeing them off in some butter or oil and then placing them in a tart creates a great tasting tart.

    I am not a huge fan of tarts/quiches containing cream at the best of times so with lockdown and the absence of cream in my fridge, I went on the hunt for a non-cream containing quiche filling.  I came across a very versatile recipe from the House of Yumm, entitled “How to make a quiche (using any filling of your choice)”.  This has now become my staple quiche recipe.

    Ingredients

    • 1 portion shortcrust pastry (I made my first quiche using a simple BBC Good Food recipe for short-crust pastry but now use Jamie Oliver’s recipe as it makes for a flakier pastry – see recipe below)
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 ¼ cup of milk of choice (I only had skimmed milk, which worked very well, so use whatever milk you prefer or have to hand)
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp pepper
    • Fillings of choice (e.g. sautéed leeks, leeks and mushrooms with added cheese)

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Roll the shortcrust pastry out and fit into 23cm pie dish. Trim any excess crust.
    • Line the inside of the shortcrust pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans – make sure that they are up against the sides of the pie crust.  Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes. Remove the baking beans and then bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The crust should be golden in colour.
    • Prepare the egg mixture by adding the eggs to a bowl. Add the milk. Add the salt and pepper.
    • Mix with a whisk or hand mixer to ensure the egg and milk mixture is completely mixed.
    • Spread the desired fillings on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the egg mixture on top. Bake at 170 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until the quiche filling is set with a slight wobble in the middle.
    • Allow to cool for about 20 minutes to room temperature.  The quiche can be served warm, cold, or room temperature.

    Short Crust Pasty (Source: Jamie Oliver)

    Ingredients

    • 250g plain flour
    • 125g cold butter
    • Pinch of salt
    • 100ml cold water

    Method

    • Tip the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt, then chop and rub in the butter.
    • Make a well in the middle, slowly pour in 100ml of cold water, then mix, pat and bring it together.
    • Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

    Parsnip and Onion Tart (Source: Waitrose and Partners)

    Ingredients

    • 1 portion shortcrust pastry
    • 3 onions or 3 leeks, sliced
    • 500g parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
    • 3 large eggs
    • 300ml milk
    • 100g mature cheddar cheese, grated

    Method

    • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
    • Prepare and blind bake a pastry base as above.
    • Heat the 25g butter in a non-stick frying pan and add the onions/leeks and season. Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until golden and caramelised. Meanwhile, cook the parsnips in boiling water for 7-10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and tip into a bowl. Mash until smooth.
    • Beat together the eggs and milk. Stir in half the cheese, the onions/leeks and parsnips. Season. Pour the mix into the tin and scatter over the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, till just set in the middle. Remove from the tin and serve warm.

    Happy cooking.