This simple but very tasty tart makes an elegant dinner party starter served with some lightly dressed bitter leaf salad. This savoury tart is a wonderful way to celebrate a mature Cheddar cheese and pared with the caramelised onions is a match made in heaven!
- 1 tblsp Rapeseed oil
- 350 g Waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 Large onion, thinly sliced
- 150 g Mature cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 200 ml Cream
- 3 Large free-range eggs
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- For the shortcrust pastry:
- 200 g Plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100 g Butter, very cold and cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tblsp Ice-cold water
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- Lightly dressed bitter leaf salad, to serve
- For the pastry, put the flour and butter into a mixing bowl and, using your fingertips, lightly rub them together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the cold water a little at a time and incorporate with a spoon. When the dough comes together, turn out onto a clean work surface and knead lightly just until it forms a ball.
- Press into a flat circle, wrap in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Grease a 23cm pie dish, 4cm in depth (capacity 1.2 litres), and dust with flour. Roll out the dough into a circle on a clean, floured work surface, to about 5mm thick.
- Transfer the rolled-out pastry to the tin and gently press it into all the sides. Roughly trim off most of the excess but leave some all round the edge of the tin to allow for shrinking.
- Don’t panic if the pastry breaks at all, just press it together with your fingers and repair any cracks with a little of the trimmed pastry. Chill in the fridge for 10–15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Prick the pastry base with a fork, line with some scrunched-up greaseproof paper and pour in baking beans or dried pulses.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the greaseproof paper and beans and cook for a further 5 minutes until lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven, trim off the remaining excess pastry and set aside on a wire cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, place a large frying pan over a high heat, add the oil and fry the potatoes and onion for 20–25 minutes until tender, stirring regularly to ensure they don’t stick.
- Mix through the cheese and thyme and arrange on the base of the pastry case.
- Whisk together the cream and eggs, season with nutmeg, sea salt and ground black pepper. Pour this over the potatoes, making sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies.
- Place the tart in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes, until golden on top and set. Leave to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes, then cut into slices and arrange on plates with the bitter leaf salad to serve.