Saturday, 9 January 2016

A much needed Winter's tart

So, again, I am on the money! On January 9, I cooked Nigel's January 9th recipe - A Winter's Tart.  This is on pages 8 and 9 of Nigel's book with no picture for that earthenware competition (see earlier blog).

I say it was a much needed tart, because today was one of those days where at the end of it, I needed a big comforting foodie hug.  Today I went to TWO parties, but wait for it... TWO, TWO year old parties... Think soft play, kids jacked up sugar, entertainers that look weird and wine in plastic hospital jugs (yes seriously this was during the second party so do not judge me)

Anyway, back to the cooking.  I decided to prepare my pastry between the parties.  I opted for 6 small tartlets rather than one large one.  Partly because I only have a quiche dish that would have been too deep and I am hoping that I can freeze the remainder of the tarts, or least have them for lunch over the next couple of days.

Here are the tarts all prepped ready to rest in the fridge before the next party.  I have left a bit of an overhang to trim after first baking although I am not sure this is necessary as Nigel says by allowing the pastry to rest in the fridge before baking it will stop it shrinking.

My tarts had a good rest (a few hours of soft play hell) before coming home to bake them.  Nigel is right!  Resting in the fridge means no shrinking pastry!  I did a hacked up carving job on trimming my tarts post first bake but had I trimmed them post rest (I think this is key) I think the results would have been much prettier.  

The actual making of the tart is super easy.  Plonking stuff in the cooked pastry cases.  What I love about this recipe is you layer up the cheesy raclette, tart cornichons, meaty salami, spicy green peppercorns and fragrant thyme and then hide it under a bed of unctuous creme fraiche and rich yellow egg yolks (burford brown).  It feels a bit like hidden treasure:

I was going to serve this with veg (Nigel suggests a crisp frisee salad) because I am obsessed with my 5 day.  However, after cake, more cake, wine and more cake a light supper was needed this evening so I prepared a totally old school salad with balsamic vinegar and a spritz of olive oil (I am equally obsessed with my spray bottle of olive oil).

With much anticipation and after lying in a dark room to recover from the day's events, the tarts are ready (please ignore the top right hand one, was going to bin it but it seemed a waste, surely substance over style?!?)

The finished supper is ready.  We decided to serve with red wine, partly due to the raclette cheese, but partly because we have bought new red wine tumblers and we wanted to try them out.  A nice light fruity shiraz actually was not a bad food match and the tarts were delicious.  Indulgent yes, but tonight just served with our old school crisp salad meant a lovely light supper to relieve the long heavy tiring day.



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