I tend to spread the baking of this tart over two days as I don’t want to rush the pastry making and blind baking. You can use shop-bought shortcrust pastry but I find the flavour is nowhere near as nice as homemade, nor is it as crumbly and buttery. If you really hate making pastry (and I write as someone who is not a natural) it is worth persevering as you can get pretty good results with practice. I prefer to use a deep 5cm tart tin as I love lots of filling but you may only have a 4cm deep tin (they are the more common) in which case use that rather than buy a new one. You will need fewer vegetables-cut the courgettes down to 500g and the peas to 100g and use three eggs and 250ml cream and 50ml milk. And for the shallow tart check it after 25-30 minutes in the oven.
- For the pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 160g salted butter
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- For the glaze (optional)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon boiling water
- For the filling
- 3 courgettes, about 650g, topped and tailed
- 150g frozen petits pois
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 284ml pot single cream
- 110ml milk
- 150g goat’s cheese log, cut into 3mm thick rounds
- Put the flour in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer and add the butter. Process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg and milk and process briefly until the mixture just starts to come together to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together to form a smooth ball. Lay a sheet of cling film on the surface and place the dough on top. Cover with a second piece of cling film. Press the dough out with the palms of your hands to a rough circle about 1cm thick. Wrap and leave somewhere cool (but not the fridge) to rest for one hour.
- Lay a large sheet of non -stick baking parchment on the work surface and dust with a tiny bit of flour. Lay the pastry in the centre and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Roll out to a circle wide enough to line a 23cm diameter, 5cm deep tart tin. The easiest way of lining a tin is to fold the pastry into a square and lay it in the base of the tin. You can then unfold the sides and carefully press the pastry around the sides. Prick the base with the prongs of a fork and chill for at least one hour. I don’t trim the edges until after the pastry is baked but keep a little raw pastry aside to fill any holes and cracks which might appear after cooking.
- Heat the oven to fan 160˚c, mark 4. Place a sheet of parchment in the pastry case and pour in baking beans. Blind bake for about 20-25 minutes until the sides of the tart are lightly coloured and firm. Remove the parchment and beans and return to cook in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes until the base is dry and really firm to the touch. If you have any cracks you can patch them up with the reserved pastry and brush the base and edges with the egg glaze. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
- For the filling, grate the courgettes with the julienne blade of a mandoline or on a coarse grater, into a sieve. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt and leave for 30 minutes. Meanwhile put the petits pois in a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for one minute then drain. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the spring onions. Fry over a low heat for five minutes. Meanwhile, squeeze out any moisture from the courgettes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Add to the frying pan, turn the heat up and fry the courgettes for about five minutes, stirring them regularly. Tip the vegetables into a sieve and squeeze out any excess moisture. Tip into a mixing bowl and stir in the petits pois and herbs. Season the mixture with salt and ground black pepper. Spoon into the pastry case and spread to the edges.
- Beat the eggs with the cream and milk and season with salt and pepper. Carefully pour the custard over the vegetables. Arrange the goat’s cheese slices on top. Bake in the oven (same temperature) for about 45 minutes until the centre feels firm to the touch. Leave to rest for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.