You know those times when you’re being posh and sophisticated, serving a well chosen selection of cheeses on a proper cheeseboard with the correct cheese knives?
Me neither, but there might be times when you have cheese in the fridge that could be used in a tart. Most cheeses could probably be used in this recipe but I’d recommend cheese that packs a punch. I’ve made it with mature cheddar, brie and stilton as a combination and also a smoked cheese, stilton, brie and cheddar as a combo.
I don’t own a cheeseboard and I have just one knife that is allegedly for cheese.
You’ll need a tart tin. This recipe is notionally for a 23cm tin but both times i’ve made it I’ve kept the pastry quantity the same and just upped the filling amount.
- 250g plain flour
- 125g cold cubed unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt (I forgot this)
- 2 onions (I love onion so used more), sliced into rings or half rings
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 eggs
- 284ml double cream
- 250g cheese, any cheese but the tastier the better
- Put some ice cubes in some water. Pastry making requires coldness. I have only learned this through watching endless baking shows. I avoided pastry for years because it scared me and crappy mince pie making scarred me.
- Put the flour, butter and salt in a food processor and pulse until your mixture looks like fine crumbs.
- Carefully add about 60ml of the cold water. Add it slowly whilst pulsing until the mixture starts to come together as a dough.
- Shape it into a fat, smooth disc and pop in a plastic bag in the fridge for at least 20 mins.
- This can be done a few days in advance. You can also freeze dough as well.
- While your pastry is in the fridge, butter your tart tin.
- Also while your pastry is in the fridge soften the onion slices in oil on the hob, medium heat, until the onions are translucent and turning golden - this should take at least ten minutes.
- Heat oven to 180C (fan oven).
- Roll out pastry on a floured surface until it’s big enough to line your tart tin. My recipe says line the tin with baking parchment but I didn’t bother.
- Line your tin with the pastry. Use your knuckles to gently push the pastry into place.
- You need to choose what to do with the pastry hanging over the edge. Pastry shrinks which is why many people advise leaving the excess pastry just hanging. Personally I find it easier to remove the pastry at this stage. Trying to remove the cooked pastry is a faff but you might want to experiment. Or you might have your own preference.
- Prick the pastry with a fork - this stops the pastry puffing up.
- Line the pastry with baking paper - cake liners work well here - and fill with baking beans or whatever you would normally use (beans or rice - obviously not baked beans, baking beans).
- Bake on a baking sheet for 15 mins.
- Remove from oven and carefully remove baking parchment and baking beans.
- Put back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or longer until the case is a pale golden colour.
- Turn the oven down to 160C (fan)
- While the case is cooking beat eggs and cream adding salt and pepper as required. For bigger tart tins add an egg and use about 440ml cream.
- Crumble, chop or pull cheese into smallish (penny-sized) bits and scatter in case.
- Scatter softened onion.
- Pour in egg/cream mix. The baking shows recommend doing this with tart on an oven shelf. I’ve tried this and get myself in a muddle because as the oven shelf is pulled out of the oven partially it is no longer properly horizontal. I take an oven shelf out of the oven and with the baking tray and tart tin on the oven shelf I pour the mix in. I find it easier to manoeuvre an oven shelf and keep it level than I do just a tart tin on a baking tray.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Can be eaten warm or cold.
- Keeps for a few days in the fridge.