Serves: 4-6 - Time:
If you don’t feel you have the necessary skills to make pastry or you are a bit short of time, there is nothing wrong with buying a ready-made shortcrust pastry. The blocks are more versatile as you can roll out the pastry to fit your tart tin. I have a mild obsession with pink peppercorns. Their tangy fruitiness is intriguing and goes especially well with fish. I haven’t forgotten to cook the peas-I think the little petits pois are tender enough-cooking can toughen them and dilute their sweetness. Just make sure they are fully defrosted before putting in the tart. I find blind baking the pastry at a lower temperature for longer stops the pastry from shrinking.
- 320g shortcrust pastry (or enough to line a 23 cm tart tin)
- 110g frozen petits pois peas, thawed.
- Small bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- 225g hot smoked salmon, flaked
- 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
- 3 medium eggs
- 200ml double cream
- 100ml milk
- Heat the oven to 170˚c, fan oven 150˚c, mark 3. Line a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin with the pastry and line with greaseproof paper and baking beans (or pulses-anything to weigh down the pastry). Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 35-40 minutes or until the sides are just turning golden. Remove the paper and baking beans and return the tart to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the base is golden and cooked through. Trim off any excess pastry.
- Evenly scatter the petits pois, spring onions, salmon, peppercorns and dill over the pastry base. In a jug beat together the eggs, cream and milk. Season with salt and a little ground black pepper.
- Take the tart (still on the baking tray) over to the oven and place on the rack. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and just firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and leave for 15 minutes before lifting out of the tin.