Potato, Smoked Salmon and Dill Tart

A light and refreshing tart from Rachel Allen's Everyday Kitchen

Ingredients


  • For the shortcrust pastry:
  • 200 g (7oz) plain flour
  • 100 g (31/2oz) chilled butter, diced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2–1 egg, beaten
  • For the filling:
  • 200 g (7oz) peeled potatoes, halved if large
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25 g (1oz) butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) double or regular cream
  • 100 g (31/2oz) smoked salmon, cut into roughly 1cm (1/2in) pieces
  • 1 generous tbsp chopped dill
  • 23cm (9in) diameter, fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin with 2cm (3/4in) sides

Method

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add half the beaten egg and, using your hands, bring the dough together, adding a little more egg if it is too dry to come together.
  2. If you are making the pastry in a food processor, sift in the flour and salt and add the butter. Whiz for a few seconds, then add half the beaten egg and continue to whiz for just a few more seconds until it comes together. You might need to add a little more egg, but don’t add too much – it should just come together. Don’t over-process the pastry or it will be tough and heavy. Reserve the remaining beaten egg for brushing over the finished pastry.
  3. Without kneading the dough, carefully shape it into a round, 1–2cm (1/2–3/4in) thick, using your hands to flatten it. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.
  5. Take the pastry out of the fridge and place it between two sheets of cling film (each bigger than your tart tin). Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 3mm (1/8in) thick. Make sure to keep it in a round shape and large enough to line the base and sides of the tin.
  6. Removing just the top layer of cling film, place the pastry upside down (cling-film side facing up) in the tart tin. (There’s no need to flour or grease the tin.) Press the pastry into the edges of the tin, with the cling film still attached to the dough, and using your thumb ‘cut’ the pastry along the edge of the tin for a neat finish. If there are any holes or gaps in the pastry, simply patch them up with some of your spare pieces of dough.
  7. Remove the cling film and chill the pastry in the fridge for 15 minutes or in the freezer for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the pastry from the fridge or freezer and line with greaseproof paper or baking parchment, leaving plenty of paper to come up over the sides. Fill the lined tart case with baking beans or dried pulses (you can use these over and over again), and bake ‘blind’ for 20–25 minutes or until the pastry feels just dry to the touch on the base.
  9. Remove the paper and beans, brush with a little of the remaining beaten egg and return to the oven for 3 minutes. Again, if there are any little holes or cracks in the pastry, patch them up with any leftover raw pastry before returning to the oven, so that the filling doesn’t leak out during cooking. Once the pastry has been baked blind, take it out of the oven and set aside in the tin while you make the filling.
  10. For the filling, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with fork. Drain the potatoes, then cut into slices about 5mm (1/4in) thick.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.
  12. Melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes or until soft and a little golden, then remove from the heat.
  13. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream and season with salt and pepper.
  14. Spread the cooked onions out in the tart case and top with a layer of sliced potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the dill and arrange the smoked salmon slices on top. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the fish and potatoes through a sieve (to catch any unbeaten bits of egg) and place in the oven. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until golden brown on top and just set in the centre
  15. Take out of the oven and allow to sit for 2–3 minutes before removing from the tin, then serve hot or at room temperature with a watercress salad on the side.




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