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My fear of making tarts is slowly but surely evaporating. It helped that my second effort was a recipe attempted with a friend. It’s always much more fun cooking with friends…

We cheated this time too & used Jus-Rol ready-made shortcrust pastry (which actually is delicious & a great shortcut). But I do promise that next time I’ll make my own pastry (I know, that’s what I said last time too…)

This time we paid more attention to rolling out the pastry correctly, and the result was- I think- much better. Still, rolling out pastry does take practice & I think I’ll only be able to say I’ve mastered this skill after I try it many times.

We followed the same basis to the recipe as last time, but improvised on the ingredients we would include. We used three different types of cheeses- cheddar, emmental & parmesan- as well as a variety of mushrooms (some button mushrooms & a mixture of wild ones). The result was lovely, we really enjoyed eating the tart, & so did a couple of other friends who tried it…

Tart with cheese & mushrooms (very loosely adapted from the Great Cooking Classics cookbook).

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion ready-made shortcrust pastry (or if you want to make your own, see here).
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
  • 120 gr. (more or less) mixed parmesan, cheddar cheese & emmental
  • mushrooms (as many as you want… I think if I made this tart again, I’d use even more mushrooms)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees celsius (the recipe in the book calls for a ‘moderately hot oven’ so judge according to your own oven!)
  • Roll pastry so that it’s large enough to line a 23-cm loose-base flan tin (or a similar sized ceramic pie dish)
  • If the weather is hot & the pastry is difficult to handle, roll it between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper
  • Lift the pastry- CAREFULLY!- into the flan tin & then trim the edges of the pastry as neatly as you can (still got a long way to go with this step!)
  • Cover your pastry with tin foil, and fill the pastry tin with old dried beans or specially made ceramic baking beans
  • Bake the pastry for about 10′ or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Carefully remove the beans and foil
  • In the meantime, while your pastry’s cooking, cook the onion in a lightly oiled small frying pan
  • Spread it, after cooling a bit, into the cooked pastry case
  • Whisk the 3 eggs, cream, cheese & milk & pour into the pastry case
  • Add the mushrooms
  • Bake in a 180-200 degrees oven for about 30 mins, or until filling is set & brownish. You have to rely a bit on your judgment for when you’ll take the quiche out. When it’s ready it’ll be puffed up and appetizingly brown/yellow.
  • Stand the quiche for 5-10 mins before removing it from the tin (or, as in my case, if it’s made in a ceramic dish, then just leave it there)
  • Eat, preferably at lukewarm temperature, perhaps with a salad.
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My blog was created as an attempt to conquer new cooking ‘territories’… i.e. to try out recipes or techniques which scare the shit out of me!! One such technique is making pastry. I’ve always loved eating tarts (both sweet and savoury) but as much as I love them, I’ve always had a inexplicable fear of making pastry at home, from scratch. So this is it, I’m now on a mission to conquer my fear and try making pastry…

I thought I’d try out a simple, classic quiche lorraine recipe as a first step. I also thought this would be a good opportunity to participate in Susan’s ‘beautiful bones’ event over at Food Blogga. Osteoporosis and its prevention is a cause close to my heart, not only because my father always used to go on about how much attention women- in particular- need to pay to it. But also because pregnancy (and I myself am now in the 8th month of pregnancy) is a very sensitive and crucial period in a woman’s life for the later development of osteoporosis. It’s well known, nowadays, that pregnant women need to take special care of their calcium intake, in order to prevent the later breaking down of bones which could lead, potentially, to osteoporosis. It also matters because babies have an increased need for calcium. And if you’re not taking in enough, they’re not going to be left starving! They will ‘leach’ it off your bones, including your teeth (which is why pregnant women are advised to visit their dentists often for check-ups and clean-ups, and general advice). My quiche lorraine contains milk, cream and cheese, so it makes for a good calcium-rich light supper.

Back then to my quiche lorraine effort… I kind of cheated in this first attempt, by buying some good quality, ready-made shortcrust pastry & just concentrating on rolling it out. There are two things that I discovered:

1) there needs to be adequate flour sprinkled on the surface you’re rolling the pastry on

2) the pastry needs to be cool enough, but at the same time soft & pliable

3) the rolling out is not hard at all! So I suppose half of my fear has now evaporated (I’ll have to try making my own pastry next time)…

Quiche Lorraine (adapted from the Great Cooking Classics cookbook).

Ingredients:

  • 1 portion ready-made shortcrust pastry (or if you want to make your own, see here).
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 3-4 bacon rashers, chopped in small pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk
  • 120 gr. (more or less) mixed parmesan & cheddar cheese

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees celsius (the recipe in the book calls for a ‘moderately hot oven’ so judge according to your own oven!)
  • Roll pastry so that it’s large enough to line a 23-cm loose-base flan tin (or a similar sized ceramic pie dish)
  • If the weather is hot & the pastry is difficult to handle, roll it between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper
  • Lift the pastry- CAREFULLY!- into the flan tin & then trim the edges of the pastry neatly (well… this step I didn’t manage to do so well, but hopefully with time I’ll learn)
  • Cover your pastry with tin foil, and fill the pastry tin with old dried beans or specially made ceramic baking beans
  • Bake the pastry for about 10′ or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Carefully remove the beans and foil
  • In the meantime, while your pastry’s cooking, cook the onion & chopped bacon in a lightly oiled small frying pan
  • Spread them, after cooling a bit, into the cooked pastry case
  • Whisk the 3 eggs, cream, cheese & milk & pour into the pastry case
  • Bake in a 180-200 degrees oven for about 30 mins, or until filling is set & brownish. You have to rely a bit on your judgment for when you’ll take the quiche out. When it’s ready it’ll be puffed up and appetizingly brown/yellow.
  • Stand the quiche for 5-10 mins before removing it from the tin (or, as in my case, if it’s made in a ceramic dish, then just leave it there)
  • Eat, preferably at lukewarm temperature, perhaps with a nice big salad.

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