I decided to make a tart. They look so fancy and posh, yet are very quick and easy to make. Based on the shortcrust pastry recipe I used, and the type of filling I was going to make, the tart would be more of a traditional flamiche.
Flamiche is a shortcrust pastry tart with a leek and creamy cheese filling that originated either in northern France or in Belgium – unfortunately, the Holy Grail of all knowledge – the Internet, was unabe to pinpoint its origin to either country specifically, so I can’t confirm it for you here.
To complicate things further, I was then forced to diverge from the traditional filling of leek and cheese, because the supermarket check out… person (is that the most politically correct word used nowadays?) made a terrible mistake during the bagging process and so I arrived home with some extras, while missing the leeks.
Amongst ‘my’ groceries was 1 kilo of sweet potatoes, some spinach dip, lavosh bread and parmesan twists. I wasn’t too fussed about returning the items, mainly because they were already paid for by me and I thought the potatoes would work quite well in this dish too. I had a feeling, though, that someone’s party platter was going to look quite… bare.
Our guests on the other hand, rubbed their bellies with delight as there was plenty of sweet potato-filled pie to go around. Some liked the flemiche so much, they even went for seconds. Needless to say the potatoes worked quite well in this dish, and someone out there is probably still wondering what to do with those leeks.
Serves 4-8 (depending on serving size)
Caramelised onion, sweet potato and goat’s cheese tart
You can use 1 sheet of store bought frozen shortcrust pastry, but the texture and flavour just won’t be the same. Plus you can never be sure what goes into commercially made pastry…
- 500g sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 3 medium brown onions, diced finely
- 120g goat’s cheese
- 1 tbsp oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1¾ cups plain flour
- 150g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 teaspoons cold water
To make the pastry, sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl. Add butter and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and the cold water with a pinch of salt. Mix with a spoon until the mixture starts to come together. Shape it into a ball with your hands, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Cook the sweet potato in some boiling water until soft. Drain and mash. Heat oil in a frypan and cook onion until soft and golden brown. Transfer onion into the potato and allow to cool slightly. Add in the goat’s cheese and mix well to combine all ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F, Gas mark 4). Grease a 23cm fluted, loose-based tart tin with some oil. To help prevent any tears [tairs not teers], roll out the pastry between 2 square sheets of baking paper to about 0.5cm thick and about 28 cm in diameter. Remove the top sheet, gently lift the pastry, turn it paper side up and line the tin ensuring there is no air caught underneath. Remove any overhanging pastry by rolling the pin over the top of the tin. Prick the base with a fork and spoon in the filling.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is nicely browned. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from tin*.
*Tip: To remove the tin, place the tart on top of a small but wide can or jar and gently dislodge and lower the fulted rim.
Rocket, pear and honeyed walnut salad
- 200g rocket leaves
- 1/2 pear, quartered and sliced finely
- 1/4 cup walnuts, broken up
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp avocado oil // or olive oil
- grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
Pour honey over walnuts and mix well to cover. Place rocket and pear slices in a bowl, dress with lemon juice and mix. Transfer salad to a platter and spread honeyed walnuts evenly around. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with some cheese.
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