Caramelised Vegetable and Gruyere Tarts

, from Issue #46. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Caramelised Vegetable and Gruyere Tarts

I love tarts! Sweet or savoury, both are always met with anticipation. Feel free to experiment with the fillings. When baking blind, ensure the pastry is a light golden colour for crisp, flaky bases. I used 5 x 12 cm round pie tins and 3 x 11 cm square tins for the tarts.


225 grams butter, diced and chilled
2¼ cups plain flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
4-6 tablespoons iced water

500 grams crown pumpkin, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
50 grams butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
2 onions, sliced
2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch each ground nutmeg and cayenne pepper
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Pastry: Place the butter, flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add iced water, as needed, until the pastry just starts to stick together.

Place on a lightly floured bench and gently bring together. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench until ¼ cm thick. Line the tins and prick the bases with a fork. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the pastry are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and remove the paper and baking blind beans.

Reduce the oven temperature to 165˚C.

Place the tart cases back in the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the bases are lightly golden. Set aside.

Filling: Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast until just tender. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan and add the garlic, rosemary, onions and capsicums and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and lightly caramelised. Cool.

To cook: Divide the cheese, onion mixture and pumpkin evenly between the tart cases.

Whisk the milk, cream, eggs, egg yolks, nutmeg and cayenne in a large measuring jug and season generously. Pour over the vegetables and bake for 35 minutes or until the custard is set and the tarts are puffed and golden. Makes 8 tarts

Square and round tart tins can be purchased from Milly’s Kitchen shop.

The tarts can be topped with roasted vine tomatoes and a few baby spinach leaves to serve. 

To bake blind: line a prepared pastry case with baking paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. The beans support the pastry as it cooks. Bake in a preheated 190˚C - 200˚C oven for up to 20 minutes before removing the paper and weights. The shell should now have taken form. Return to the oven for the time specified in the recipe.