Tis the season for sharing. From Christmas right through to the New Year there are plenty of opportunities to extend hospitality and love your friends and family with cookery. Tarts are the ultimate sharable contribution during the festive season, and are a great recipe to include in you repertoire.
Mastering a good tart base will allow you to experiment with a range of fillings that you can switch up depending on seasonal availability. A beautiful tart can be easily put together with affordable ingredients, and you can feed plenty of people from just one. They are also striking to the eye, and make a fine-looking centrepiece on the table.
Meredith is the passionate baker around here, and has been experimenting with a range of wholefood ingredients to devise a delicious and nourishing tart base that you can count on for a range of savoury fillings. Spelt is a lovely ancient wholegrain that is lower in gluten and more easily digested that modern wheat, and is the perfect flour for wholegrain baking.
Take your pick between a scrumptious beetroot filling with more of a frittata vibe, or flavours of cheesy butternut pumpkin with sweet red onion. Leftovers are great eaten cold for an easy midweek lunch or dinner.
These darlings also make a comforting gift to a friend or neighbour in need of some help with meals.
250g Whole Spelt Flour
100g unsalted butter
pinch of salt
20 ml water (as needed)
Mix the flour and butter until crumbly, then mix in the egg and lightly form the dough, (if it is too dry you may need to add a little bit of water) roll into a ball and wrap, place in the fridge for approx 1 hour while prepping ingredients for your chosen filling.
After 1 hour remove the pastry from the fridge, roll between two pieces of baking paper and place into a 20cm spring from tin, or tart tin with loose bottom.
Prick the base all over with a fork, cover with paper and pie weights or rice and bake for 25 minutes at 180C until starting to turn golden. Remove from oven, remove the paper.
RED ONION AND PUMPKIN TART
1 small butternut pumpkin grated (super easy with the food processor)
1 large red onion thinly sliced
100g soft cheese (brie, camembert, nuage blanc or goats feta)
Salt and pepper
1 Zucchini sliced into thin ribbons
Rosemary or Sage to garnish
Mix pumpkin, onion cheese and salt and pepper in a bowl, pour into the pre baked tart shell and press down.
Top with the zucchini slices, herbs, more salt and pepper to taste, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bake at 180C for 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and the top is crispy.
BEETROOT AND GOATS CHEESE TART
1 bunch beetroot (about 5 medium sized) with leaves
1 stalk green garlic or 2 medium cloves of garlic
A bunch of thyme, fresh or 1 TBSP dried
1 tbs Butter
100 g goats cheese (or feta)
Remove stalks and leaves from the beets (keep for another recipe), rinse, place in a tall pot, cover with water and a big pinch of salt and bring to boil. Reduce and cook until the beetroot is soft when skewered.
Drain, leave to cool a little and then peel of the skin. Slice into 1 cm rounds.
Melt the butter, slice the garlic and cook over a medium heat adding the thyme and starting tobrown. Whisk the eggs together with 50 g crumbled cheese then add the garlic mixture and mix.
Arrange beetroot slices overlapping around the edge of the base and into the centre. Pour over the egg mixture to just evenly fill the spaces around the beetroot, top with extra cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until melted and golden on top.
Delicious with the grilled beet leaves and roasted beet stalks on the side, or cold the next day for lunch.