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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Goat's Cheese, Red Onion and Pepper Tart

Well, so much for publishing two posts a week.  I had all intentions of posting on Tuesday but time just escaped me.  This week has been a long one - work, meetings, training courses and late nights.  It is also the week I finally upgraded my 6 year old mac to the latest 27inch iMac.  Having only just managed to transfer all my old files, music and other important data today I am now ready to just get on and start using it.

Today's post is based on a recipe I tried at a local 'posh' cafe called the Bottle Kiln in West Hallam, Derbyshire.  They are well known for their tasty, yet expensive, pies, tarts and quiches.  This recipe is loosely based on something I tried there recently and contains two of my favourite ingredients - goats cheese and red onion.

This is a light delicate tart with flavours that don't overpower each other.  The pastry contains dried thyme that adds a gentle hint without too much fragrance.  You could add fresh thyme if you have it in the garden but I feel that thyme is one of the few herbs that work well dried.  Served with a simple salad this dish is perfect for outdoor eating.   

Call it a quiche if you like, I have decided to name this a tart due to its thinner appearance.  I am not a vegetarian, I love all food, this tart is perfect for all.  

Goat Cheese, Red Onion and Pepper Tart

Serves 6

For the thyme pastry
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme (1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped)
110g cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp icy cold water

For the filling
1 large red onion
1 large red pepper
100g goats cheese (the crumbly variety)
3 large eggs
230ml double cream
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

25cm tart tin, loose bottom (I do not have a quiche dish)

Start by slicing the onion in half.  Then half again, and once more.  You should end up with 8 pieces.  Think Terry's Chocolate Orange.  Place on a baking sheet.


Do the same to the red pepper.  Place on the baking sheet - you are not cooking them just yet so set aside.

Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan).

Make the pastry by placing the flour, salt and thyme in a food processor.  Pulse together (I consider a pulse to be 2 seconds).  

Add the cold butter and process for 10 seconds, you should end up with a dry crumb mixture.  Add 1 tbsp icy water and pulse, add another and pulse again, add the final tbsp and give it the final pulse.  The mixture should start to come together but not form a ball. 

Gather the pasty in to a ball and place in a plastic bag (or wrap in cling film) and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.   While the pasty is chilling, put the onion and pepper in the hot oven.  Dry roast for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.

When the pastry is chilled, roll out on a floured surface and line the tart tin.  Bake in the oven (same temp) for 12 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.  Reduce oven temp to 180C (160C fan).

In a jug, whisk together the cream, eggs and thyme.  Add the salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Arrange the onions, peppers and goats cheese in the baked case.  I pulled the onion chunks apart to spread them out better.

Place on a baking sheet and put in the oven.  Pour over the egg mix and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.  Serve warm or chilled.