I am something of a tart fiend, and this one is perfect for an easy lunch, picnic or Sunday night dinner. There are several things I love about it - firstly it is the ideal way to use up bits of leftover cheeses that have been bought for entertaining. Secondly, you can really just throw it together and thirdly, you can make it in advance for no fuss dining later.
3/4 cup plain flour
50g chilled butter, chopped into cubes
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons chilled water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2 medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100g pancetta, chopped into lardons
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon dry white wine
2/3 cup cream
150g left over soft cheese - I used a soft blue, and two different types of brie
1 egg yolk
26cm tart tin with removable base, greased.
Serves 6 for lunch, 4 for dinner.
Whiz flour, salt and butter in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water and pulse until it forms big clumps. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and squish together. Pat into a flat round, cover in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the fridge for at least half an hour. After half an hour, roll out into a circle large enough to press into tart tin with at least 2cm of pastry coming up the sides. Chill in the fridge.
Heat oil and butter in a saute pan and saute onion, garlic and pancetta over a medium heat for 10 minutes or until onion is soft and golden. Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper with wine and simmer for 5 minutes until the wine has totally reduced. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190˚C (375˚F). Line pastry tart with baking paper and baking beans or weights and bake for 12 minutes. Remove paper and beans and cook pastry a further 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.
Spread onion and pancetta filling over pastry in tart tin. Whisk eggs and egg yolks with cream. Break or cut cheese into 2-3cm pieces and dot onto onions in pastry shell and reduce oven to 170˚C (360˚F). Pour egg mix into tart and bake for 35 minutes until pastry is richly golden and the filling is set.
Serve with a simple green salad, dressed with a white balsamic and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette.
An extra note here on the cheese - I have made this three times now and each time with different cheese combinations, and from experience I would err on the side of caution with any really strong blues - I would use those judiciously and aim for more creamy blues with bries and camemberts as the pungent blues can overtake the whole thing.
For more recipes and beautiful food photography from Sarah Tuck, visit her regularly updated blog, From the Kitchen.