Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Veggie & Cheez Tart

Been on a no-meat binge for no explainable reason, this began with a desire to jazz up my short-crust recipe. So I jazzed it up by throwing a handful of dried herbs, in this case marjoram and some thyme. The pastry was wonderfully speckled and crispy.

Baked some veggies, here there are peppers: yellow, red, orange, yams, red onions, courgettes and carrots. Thing here, is colours, think colours and the veg will follow.
Douse with oil and again dried herbs. (no salt, don't want the vegetables to 'weep')
Into the oven for an hour at 180c.

Pile into the baked pastry case, add clumps of favourite cheese, I like here salty white cheese, then add some chopped greens like dill, cilantro or parsley for garnish.

Serve with tehina sauce on the side.

A light summery lunch, picnic or supper
Your veggie friends will applaud you and toast you as one of their own!

Nectarine and Almond Tart

Finally a decent photo!... whadya think?

Actually i have a confession here, i simply had some nectarines knocking about, threatening to go bad soon, armed with a new pastry recipe just looking for some innocent fruit, and as they say the rest is history!

French Tart Pastry
thanks to: french pastry

90 g (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
150 g (5oz, or 1 slightly-rounded cup) flour

Preheat the oven to 410º F (210º C).

1. Heat butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.

2. When melted, remove the bowl and dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

3. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.

4. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks.

5. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.

I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.

7. Let the shell cool before filling.

Here i was totally lazy and made Bird's instant custard and just layered it on the tart crust.
Slice and arrange the nectarines, on a last minute whim, toasted some sliced almonds and scattered on top for that Oh-so-professional look.

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